I recently worked with well trained but new photographer on an editorial collaboration. I loved her energy and passion. She has huge dreams and a prestigious diploma from an amazing and highly regarded photography school, the trouble was she didn’t have much real- world experience. Still she had a very high expectation of how quickly her career was going to take off once she moved to the big city. I didn’t want to dampen her dreams or hopes because I do believe that having such unbridled passion and positivity can do wonders – but what happens when you get that break and you aren’t prepared? Or what happens when things don’t meet your expectations?
Yes! You can move quickly, but it’s also important to be as prepared emotionally and mentally as you are technically. Having the confidence to conquer the world King Kong style is amazing (and needed) but it isn’t going to stop a client from calling you out on set if your work isn’t up to their standard, or they just aren’t happy.
Not going to lie, I’ve been there and it sucks beyond sucking (pretty sure that’s really bad) when you are doing your best and it isn’t good enough. As artists we become so personally vested in our work and it can be soul crushing when you are going down fast on the inside while every eye on set is looking at you.
Sometimes it makes you want to quit, throw in the towel – or even move to a different city. Not kidding, after finishing one shoot on the drive home I called my husband and said – we need to move- start packing! The shoot was terrible and soon to be published! He couldn’t have been more confused but still talked me down from the ledge.
The way to recover – pull up those big kid underoo’s on keep pressing on.
The bigger your dreams, the bigger the gigs, the higher the stakes, the bigger the risk. So how do you prepare mentally?
With my coaching students I always work on mindset. We all need it, even the most experienced artists. Anytime you stretch outside of your comfort zone, like a client outside of your wheelhouse, trying to book fashion weeks, celebrities or even bigger editorial clients, keep in mind these clients will all have expectations – and those expectation may be different than what you are used to.
Questions for you...
When you get a booking are you just showing up and doing what you always do?
Or are you that girl or guy that went through your kit and organized everything and came to the table with viable ideas ?
Did you clean your kit and make sure your brushes were spotless?
Did you make sure you had everything you possibly needed?
Did you practice any new techniques or play around with products in your kit to get a different result?
Did you inspect your work with a very critical eye and make sure that every detail was flawless?
Did you put yourself outside of your comfort zone or make sacrifices for this important opportunity?
Did you get home and vent your dirty laundry on social networking or gossip about other people on set?
Did you act like a professional from start to finish? You can't expect a different result when you're doing the same things as always.
What can you be doing better? Is it your technique, honing your eye, your attitude, your work ethic???
Ask yourself these questions... and if you can do something better... tweak it and refocus!
Here's the thing - straight up, I'm going to get real... I struggled for years, I sold clothes to second hand stores to pay rent, I did endless test shoots, I cried, I was humiliated on set, but once I started taking myself seriously as a professional and not just the girl who was good at makeup... doors opened... for a long time I was plagued with insecurities, I never thought I was the S&%t like some artists do... In my mind those top of the industry artists are the s&%t I'm just a girl who is eager and full of passion willing to go the extra, extra mile without resting on my resume'... because that was yesterday.
There are so many artists clamoring for gigs, don't you owe it to yourself to get the edge through excellence? I coined the term survival of the “Fittiest”... it's a combo of "prettiest" and "fittest" It doesn’t mean that the prettiest or skinniest peeps get the gigs – it means, to thrive be beautiful, kind, helpful, positive from the inside out, and be prepared and fit mentally, and technically for the gig.
If you truly want something it takes determination to make it happen... but you can do it.... wherever you are in your career, it might take time and it may not be exactly when you think it should happen... but the timing will be perfect- it will be when you are prepped and ready both emotionally and skillfully.
As always wishing you love, success and lip gloss xoxo