What are photographers awards really worth?
Award winning photographers would have to be pretty good wouldn’t they, they’d have to have been around for a while, be a big name in photography circles, have your stuff published everywhere.
All of that would take a long time to do.
I have a million-dollar business but I’ve never won an award – I’ve never even entered a competition where I might be eligible for one.
Does awards equal success?
A lot of people think that to be successful you would have to have your achievements out there for the world to see, I haven’t got anything anywhere, in fact, nobody even knows who I am and that’s the way I like it. Winning awards is not everything.
You can have awards but do they pay the bills? No, they don’t, money pays the bills and you can have all the awards you want but if you take them down to the pawn shop they are worthless, unless you’re famous and dead, if you’re famous you won’t need to worry about money and if you’re dead someone else will have to take them for you.
Let me tell you about my award.
I’ve never won an award and I’ve had very limited membership to professional associations – only once actually – but I’ve created a portrait photography business with a million-dollar turnover, and that gives me plenty of money to pay the bills.
Find out what the client wants and give it to them.
You know how I did that, firstly, by finding out what people wanted and then, by giving them that thing.
If you’ve got time to enter award competitions, you obviously already have a thriving business and have the time to pursue such endeavours – I hate to be the bearer of bad news but as soon as you get your award, everyone will move on to the next thing and you’ll be forgotten about.
How much time have you got?
If you’ve got time to enter awards, you’ve got time on your hands – figure out what’s important to you – awards or lifestyle – I know what I want but to be fair, it took me a long time to work it out, like everyone else starting out, I thought I had to do all the usual things but if you have a look at my new book, you’ll see that all of the lessons I’ve learnt are in there so it’s a great shortcut to success.
Does winning an award make you rich?
I was having lunch with a friend of mine one day and he told me that he had won ‘Professional wedding photographer of the year’ in his words ‘so I put my feet up and waited for the phone to ring … how many calls did I get? – none’
This proves that it’s not about winning awards, it’s about letting people know you’re there and then giving them a reason to come and see you – usually through an offer.
Who am I to talk.
I’m Mark Lait and I have no professional accreditation at all and I’m definitely not an award winning photographers, I don’t need to be.
Everything I’ve learned I’ve learned from people who knew something I didn’t and when you learn this way, you cherry pick the bits you want, you don’t have to learn all of the things that will never make a difference to making money from your photography.
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If you can’t pay the bills, what are awards worth.
I know some brilliant award-winning photographers, their photos are stunning, some of them are board members of those professional associations, some of them are keynote speakers at events and some of them can’t pay the bills, they can’t pay their bills – figure that out.
But surely they’re worth something.
What about all the awards, surely, they’re worth something, of course they are – to whoever won them but ask yourself if you’ve ever bought something from an award winning salesperson, chances are you haven’t, you bought it from someone who had what you wanted and their offer made sense to you at the time.
What is the real prize?
I’ve never won an award, instead, I’ve won the greatest prize of all – success. I’ve won success in business and that gives me the freedom to do what I want whenever I want. I have freedom of choice. I don’t need a judge to tell me that my photos are good, my customers do it all the time, they pay money for them.
Next time, I’ll show you one of the most popular and profitable products we sell and how you can produce the same for your business – see you then.