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Reflections on staying busy…

Keeping Busy- some thoughts after attending AIPA’s Image Nation Conference

I have just gotten back from the AIPA’s Image Nation conference in Auckland. It is an annual conference where a selection of top photographers and people involved with the photography industry give talks about their careers and where the industry as a whole is going.

I find that being a one man band can get to be a bit isolating and though some photographers see these conferences as a waste of time, I find them quite refreshing. This year the main message that I took away from the conference and something I have actually been working on even before the conference is the concept that busy people generally stay busy even when everyone else is quiet.

There are a few different reasons for that, and the main one is that when you are busy that means you are at the forefront of your people’s minds and half the battle in getting work in this industry is staying in the minds of the people who are in charge. So if you are not busy, then the only way to get busier is to “reach out and touch someone”. Almost all of my most recent projects have come about from me picking up the phone or sending out emails to past/present/future clients just letting them know that I was around and available and for some of my clients, that was all it took a gentle reminder that I was here.

Also when you are busy being creative, it means that your creative muscle (mind) is being engaged and it is just like any other muscle, the more you use it the stronger it becomes and the more creative you get. So if you don’t have any paid work at the moment, the best thing to do is go out there and develop a personal project. I would say almost half of the work shown at Image Nation this year was personal work that the photographers shot which helped them land some of their biggest and best jobs.

Here is just one example of a personal project that has lead to paid work for me:

Inov8 shoes are well suited to NZ terrain Sage Canaday running through the Redwood Forest, Rotorua

So go out there and keep yourself busy.


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