8 To Be Great - Secrets Of Success

posted on 26th of september, 2008

I saw Richard St. John's video on TED.com today, where he talked about eight secrets of success. This talk is from 2005, but nothing seems to be changed in those 3 years. :)
St. John mentioned 8 traits, what help us to succeed in our lives. And I think they apply to stock photography as well, or even best. So I wanted to share them with you.

I have ever met a passionless photographer, not a professional, and much less a hobbyist. So it's easy to keep passion about photography alive when there's so much beauty around us and interesting subjects and lot of techniques to explore and develop. Maybe you need to find your passion among different genres or styles of photography. Find you passion and then chase it.
Microstock industry requires hard work. You need to develop your portfolio. Quality is most important, but as well is quantity. And that requires work. You are lucky if you know how to work hard and have fun at the same time. Then you are not a workaholic, but workafrolic, like St. John said.
That's the most true in photography than anywhere else. You need to keep things in focus. The better lens you have the sharper focus you can have. ;) But of course you have to focus on building up your portfolio, keep your eye on trends of design and fashion.
You need to learn to ignore distractions and concentrate on one thing, becoming an expert at it.
Don’t allow shyness or selfdoubt to disrupt or even stop you. Find ways how to push yourself beyond your limits (or the line where you think your limits are - usually they are much farther away from your comfort zone). Friends and family can help to push you, or your fellow photographers from stock sites. Ask them to do it.
© Kts (Help)
Learn to be creative. Ideas are just thoughts that solve problems. Formulate the problem (f.e "I want to depict the wind") and then find a solution (shoot wind turbines, or trees bending in storm). You can find "problems" from dictionary, for example.
Find ways to improve your portfolio, your techniques. Strive to become the best at what you do. Practice, practice, practice.
Successful people provide something of value to people. It doesn't have to involve charity work. It’s delivering a service or product others need or want. And that's easy in stock industry, isn't it?
Never give up. Don't let yourself to be frighten by rejected photos, slow start of sales, seemingly much successful coophotographers (you don't know how, where or when they started). Don’t expect quick results (easy come, easy go). Don't be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause that's the way how we learned to walk. And see, how easy it's now. Are you shamed that you stumbled on your first steps? It's not a shame to make mistakes, it's a shame not to learn from them. A failure has been called "a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top." So don't let to fool yourself of other opinions. Just keep going and never give up.

Comments (30)

Posted by Matt6t6 on May 13, 2009
No 4 and No 8 I need to take on board ... And the rest lol
Posted by Maigi on April 02, 2009
Glad, that you found it helpful. It encourages me every time I reread it.
Posted by Wildmac on April 01, 2009
As a newbie to DT this is just what I needed to hear to get my creative juices flowing again. I've been a bit discouraged by the number of rejected photos I've had, but after I reading your words of wisdom, ideas have been flowing thick and fast. Thanks for that :0)
Posted by Rebeccaosborn on April 01, 2009
Great blog.. thanks so much for sharing.. and nice pics also!
Posted by Pyfriend on April 01, 2009
Thank you! I will collect them for my brilliant life. :-)
Posted by Monika3stepsahead on March 27, 2009
useful article - indeed

Posted by Zenotri on March 14, 2009
Thank you for sharing this inspiring article.
Posted by Svecchiotti on February 10, 2009
This article is very true - like with anything else you do in life.....
Posted by Maigi on October 22, 2008
:) so nice to hear. Thanks for good words!
Posted by Linqong on October 22, 2008
This is a very useful article, I benefited.
Posted by Svecchiotti on October 09, 2008
Words of widsom...well said.
Posted by Maigi on October 08, 2008
Thank you, guys, I appreciate your comments.
Posted by Jiajianzheng on October 08, 2008
It is true,thanks and learning to you!
Posted by Rebeccaosborn on October 08, 2008
Great blog and its so true, thanks for this little inspirational reminder!!
Posted by Maigi on October 03, 2008
You must be a good teacher. Thanks for your comment!
Posted by Valeria73 on October 03, 2008
Great blog Maigi! I particularly agree with what you say about mistakes. As a teacher I keep saying the same to my students: mistakes are our only way to learn if we accept them and try to improve.
Posted by Maigi on October 02, 2008
Mail is on its way. Hope I could help. Good luck with editorials!
Posted by Ischneider on October 01, 2008
Great Blog Maigi! Very inspiring. Thank you.
Posted by Cathysbelleimage on September 30, 2008
Yes, thanks Mailis for this reminder... needed it! Hope you are well. C
Posted by Iofoto on September 30, 2008
nice, inspiring blog - thank you!
Posted by Noonie on September 30, 2008
Nice pep talk to start my day, Maigi.
Posted by Litifeta on September 30, 2008
good writing maigi
Posted by ZrKnight on September 30, 2008
Posted by Sil63 on September 30, 2008
Thanks for sharing! These thoughts will help me keep going! :)
Posted by Littlemacproductions on September 27, 2008
Nice positive reminders. Thanks for reminding!!!!
Posted by Maigi on September 26, 2008
Glad, you guys, like it! It was very inspiring for me. :)
Posted by Onime on September 26, 2008
that was GREAT; 8 ways to success. thanks
Posted by Marilyngould on September 26, 2008
Very inspiring and very motivating -- a great boost to start the weekend. Thank you.
Posted by Irisangel on September 26, 2008
Amen to that! Great advice! Thanks.
Posted by Teekaygee on September 26, 2008
What a great pep talk! Thanks for sharing these thoughts...I needed a little push like this to get me out of my comfort zone and working harder.

Comments (30)

This article has been read 6304 times. 9 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Anette Romanenko, Diego Vito Cervo, Iofoto, Iris Schneider, John Kounadeas, Kts, Lisa F. Young.

About me

My name is Mailis Laos. I'm a photographer and digital artist from Estonia. Since 2016, I am happy to be one of Dreamstime's remote photo editors, and to do all I can to get your great images online. I love photography and digital art. Traveling, hiking, folk music and deep late night discussions with friends are among other things I enjoy a lot. And you can mess my head with thought-provoking poetry. You can find me on Facebook: MaigiPhotography Instagram: maigidesign Google+: +MaigiDesignPhotos Twitter: maigidesign Contact: http://www.maigi.com/contact

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