Two quotes have struck us in the last few days that couldn’t be any more on target, bulls eyes in fact.
Johann Bruyneel, Lance Armstrong’s Director throughout all of his Tour wins, recently Twittered:
“We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.”
As creative professionals, we find ourselves facing what appears to be the end to the way in which we have worked and prospered for the last twelve years. As a result of a poor economy, commercial clients are cutting advertising or finding new methods for developing and exposing their brands. Magazines are seeking the cheapest possible content or disappearing altogether, and the industry as a whole, like the entire world, is beginning to communicate and market using entirely new methods based on web social interaction. We must ask ourselves if our original business models will continue to function as the economy improves and we begin to dust ourselves off. Amongst these difficult times, everyone is learning new methods in which to operate. Photography is not going away, in fact the need is growing as opportunity to use imagery increases, however the ease in which to procure and place it is becoming instant and cheap. To compete in this new landscape, we understand that we are faced with options.
Right now, having learned from past experience, we are seeking to understand the many incoming demands of how to produce and distribute our work. We are told that to survive we must produce Royalty Free and Microstock, or that we must begin creating content that is more mainstream and more applicable to a wider market. We say NO. We do not believe we are “missing the boat” or “not in the game”. We believe in a style of photography, and a type of relationship, that will always have its place for specific brands. Brands with an identity that we can partner with to help develop. We also know that we are in this game not just for financial reward, but for much larger rewards of freedom, lifestyle and the pursuit of a passionate vision based on personal values. All these traits may thrive within a responsible and profitable business. By being true to who we are, we are stronger for those we work with. We know what it is we want to do, we specialize in it and we will continue to do it with excellence as our goal.
Janine stumbled across a website yesterday, Win Without Pitching, that carries a message of strength for the creative professional (or any human really), one item sums up what we feel is so important for us:
“We will be selective. Instead of seeking clients we will selectively and respectfully pursue ‘perfect fits’ – those targeted organizations that we can best help. We will say ‘no’ early and often, weeding out those that would be better served by others and those that cannot afford us. By using ‘no’ we will give power and credibility to our ‘yes’.”
We do not plan to change the style of how we work just to meet the demands of the industry as a whole, but we are focusing on how we can grow alongside it to make the best possible images, and bring the most value to the right clients. We are firm believers in committing to our vision and committing to our Mission Statement. By saying “no” to imperfect matches gives us more opportunity to work with the perfect fits to whom we have said, “yes”. Therefore providing the most value to a partnership in which everyone profits at many levels.