Photography · Thoughts

Lessons from PEPx 2018

After flickr, Instagram has helped me stay inspired on the course of my being a hobbyist photographer. Please note “hobbyist” is very important, since I don’t call myself a photographer.

On my Instagram feed has been the now famous Joseph Radhik. Latest claim to fame – He is the one who shot the wedding of the year – Virat & Anushka.

Jospeh along with his team organised the PEPx and PEP Summit. I am new to this so I later found out this was second year. How I missed the buzz last year is something I am yet wondering.

Managed to get the early bird sign-up and I was registered for the 3 day talk session in Mumbai.

First impressions as I entered the venue – Not Happy. Setup was something like it was a small college event expecting a few handful of students to come and hear some fellow talk and ramble about why we should change the system.
There was not enough seating, this while the screen flashed that over 1000 people were attending PEP 2018 – How and where were they seated?
Of course those who paid the big money attended the PEPSummit, where I am guessing all the attendants had a seat to themselves.

Anyway, bypassing the shortcomings, I think some of the speakers were a delight and I am glad to have returned with a few tidbits not only for better photography but also about life in general.

Some of the key things I could grasp at the event (this among all the noise made by putting a SONY stall right at the speaker venue – VERY IRRITATING).

DON’T REPEAT SUCCESS

Anup Jkat says “Don’t repeat your success”. As a photographer if you think shooting the bride in a particular way was superb, GREAT. However the next time don’t just repeat it. Try something different, go for something new.
Make so much sense in life too. We get comfortable doing something because we have mastered it. Change is difficult because we will be challenged, move us out of our comfort zone. However it is not taking us any forward.

BEST IS YET TO COME

Photographer Dheeraj Paul opens his talk with a showcase and then says “I have not yet shot my best photograph and you too have not”.
Don’t sit on your success, there is more out there to achieve, more to capture. Keep moving because the best is yet to come.

PASSION vs. PROFESSION

Is photography your passion? Or your profession? Are you a professional with lot of passion? Lots of difference in there. Landscape Photographer Umesh says if you mix Passion and Profession – there is trouble. Passion “makes you rise” at 3AM to get that perfect light shot. Profession “demands” that you rise at 3AM. That’s where the difference is and determines your results.

RESPECT HARD WORK

Photography is a lot of work. Respect it. Don’t look down on someone just because the person is not using a fancy camera but uses their phone for photography. Respect the passion and effort to get the best from what they have at the moment. Every composition is an effort and that’s helping make progress.

LEARN PEOPLE SKILLS

You maybe very creative. You maybe an excellent photographer. If you want to make money on your skills, you need to be able to persuade / sell your talent. Develop people skills. Learn to be a better communicator. Learn to be a better listener. Learn to build a connect. That’s what will help you win assignments.

SPECIALIZATION IS GOOD BUT STAGNATING

Learn to wear many hats. Specialization is good but can at times limit your ability to grow & earn. Learn to be flexible and change with the times. If you are a wedding photographer and the wedding market is down, you need to be able to adapt yourself to a new role. You may have a rush of opportunities to do Food / Travel photography. You can either change or then suffer limited income from your current work.

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