They say Authenticity is a key for success. Personally, I think the idea of being Authentic is a bit of a buzzword lately. We hear about this blogger being “authentic”, or that photographer having authentic work. Authenticity is certainly a praise worthy quality, but what does it actually mean? I know a lot of people who feel like authenticity is misunderstood and misused. In truth, I think authenticity is a rather simple concept:
Authenticity is: the state of being genuine, real, bona fide, true, veritable.
What does genuine look like in practicality?
We know that some people use authenticity as a platform for saying whatever they want to say, without thought of the consequences. Others may call themselves authentic because they are open about anything and everything you could ask them.
Most likely, you value authenticity as much as I do. And in my life, I’ve had my fair share of Authenticity Flops. I’ve written a log of every raw experience I’ve ever had. I’ve shared too many life details publicly. It’s been a challenging road to find a balance between being real that is appropriate for the setting. Haven’t we all been embarrassed by this at some point?
Here’s what I’ve learned about Authenticity:
For Photographers, Authenticity is Crafting your work in the freedom of your own perspective and style. I think it’s natural to find inspiration in the work of others, especially as you are getting started. But there comes a point when you have to rest assured that no one sees the world in the same way that you do. This isn’t a cheesy placate. This is truth. Being Authentic with your Craft is being true to the way that you see the world, and sharing that through your art.
For Photopreneurs: Authenticity is having a business that is true to your strengths. Are you wild and effervescent? Your style will probably reflect that, as will your blogging, and client communication or interaction. This authenticity also understands the areas that are your weaknesses; and having the humility to hire out or seek help in those areas.
For Relationships: This area can be really tough. I’ll be honest, you will have times when your authenticity will not win you fans. People may feel that you aren’t worth it. People may walk away. It happens. But God works out incredible things with the ones who are supposed to be in your life – the ones who find you as much worth it as you find them. As a photographer, you’ll find people who don’t want to pay you what your worth – or even pay you at all. The honesty that you bring to the table with “WHY” you charge what you do isn’t always popular, but that doesn’t really matter. You just have to “do you”. And the people who are supposed to be in your life – either clients or friends – will find their way to you.
For Artists: If you don’t know how to be authentic with your Craft, here’s an exercise to try: Look back through the last 10 photoshoots you’ve shot or pieces you’ve created, and answer this question: What do the works have in common? Look for vantage points, perspectives, composition, angles, lighting, backgrounds, posing, etc. Write down thoughts as you go, including specific words or phrases that might come to your mind. The themes that are most common are probably close to your actual style.
Authenticity is an area that is crucial to building your dream business. That is why an entire module in CRAFT is designed with this in mind. I believe that building a dream business is as much you being you, as it is your art. I know this sounds a little wild, but bear with me. When you are authentic as a photographer, as a person, as an artist, you send a strong message; And, you attract the people who are looking for just that.
I know you are curious about CRAFT, so take a moment to download the CRAFT-ProgramGuide Trust me, with CRAFT, you’ll be sure to find exactly the road that will lead you to success and joy as a photographer!
If you are ready to get started with CRAFT, register here!