The 3 P’s, maybe 4.

16 Sep

Columbia College in Chicago just had a great event where they featured 3 photographers from PDN 30 under 30, an art buyer and an accomplished photographer to talk about how they got into the industry and what seemed to be working for them.  The art buyer was there to be the voice of the hiring side and to share the things she’s looking for in a photographer.  First you’re probably wondering, why were you there as a stylist?  Simply put, I like to hear from people and I love photography.  I go to everything because I’ve never walked out of a lecture or meeting where I thought something was a complete waste of time.  I enjoy hearing everyone’s insight, whether I agree with it or not, it always important to get another perspective.

At this point, I’ve been to enough of these talks to know that there are going to be a number of people in the audience that are looking for THE answer to becoming successful in the photo industry.  Everyone wants to know the magic formula, the secret list of 5 steps that work, or the 5 people that they NEED to talk to if they want to be successful.  The three 30 Under 30 nominees all had very different stories on how they’ve got to where they are today, none of which may work for the next person in line.  While filling the room with possibly false hopes, the accomplished photographer chimed in and said with a chuckle, “All you need is the 3 P’s; point of view, perseverance, and personal relationships.”  As the talk progressed, the panelists agreed that the 4th P could be passion.

Could this be THE answer?  The 4 P’s?  Honestly, hardly.  Of course you need all of these things but that still might not open up the golden ticket.  I guess that’s why we’re all still here.  If we weren’t interested in the journey to the destination, we’d all just play the lottery.  The fun is trying to figure this all out.  The 4 P’s are a great place to start, but I’m sure there’s an N, a T, and a L too that are giving the person next to you the edge.  That’s why you need to work on your own S, R, and K on top of the P’s to make yourself indispensable.  Gosh, now I feel like eating alphabet soup and watching Sesame Street.

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