Tuesday, December 13, 2011

You don't have to be a sellout but you do have to learn a few things

Screen grab from Chase Jarvis Live. (Left) Ramit Sethi author of "I Will Teach You to Be Rich" and (Right) Chase Jarvis, photographer

I was introduced to photographer Chase Jarvis more than 6 years ago. He came to an ASMP meeting in Seattle to talk about this new thing called blogging. The small crowd of local photographers listened politely as he talked about the value of sharing as a way of building your reputation and your business using this newfangled mode. Then, Jarvis was a building a reputation as a sports photographer. He had discovered the power of social media long before most knew what was to come. And he wanted us to learn what he had come to understand: the internet can produce amazing results and relationships.

Now he is in demand from numerous companies to endorse their products and his app The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You is an inspiration even if you don't have an Iphone and you can buy a book on the subject if you do. That Jarvis loves to teach is apparent in every aspect of his business. Awards. Projects galore and a fine balance of art and commerce. Hefty stuff.

An email to the photographic community yesterday peeked my interest. On his internet channel, Jarvis was talking to an up and coming financial whiz Ramit Sethi whose book "I Will Teach You to Be Rich" needs little explanation of intent. Jarvis said in the email: "Sethi has single-handedly given me better insight about the business side of art/photography than anyone else in my 15 year career." Strong talk. I wanted to hear some of what had helped propel the photographer to his global rock star status. We all know loads of talent who have never even imagined the reach that the photographer has come to represent.

You can watch the entire webcast with Sethi on Chase Jarvis Live, his internet channel in collaboration with Polaroid and B&H.

Take the time if you are a creative. I would be shocked if any artist couldn't pull something out of this talk that is useful to financial and career success.

As Chase says, "we are all guilty" at some time of falling into the starving artist mode. Maybe we are afraid of being accused of selling out, maybe we sell ourselves short. Maybe we don't take advantage of the most obvious tried and true methods to sell stuff. After all, we all sell stuff no matter how you slice it.

And hats off to Chase Jarvis for his continuing effort to inspire and motivate his fellow professionals. Cynically you might say he is just working the big room of the internet. But face to face with the man it is clear that he deeply wants everyone to discover for themselves at least some of the success he has experienced.

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