Q & A: Popularity Contest

Dakota Long photographed by Rodney Alan 20130525-IMG_7979-EditDakota.  5Dmk2 | 35L

The great thing about social media is the ability to connect with others and create a presence about oneself. On occasion I’ll get emails or facebook messages with general questions. I don’t mind answering them so I figured to benefit others and share my wealth of knowledge (or lack of) I’m going to share those questions and answers, sort of a Q&A section on the blog.

Q: On another note, I saw the message you posted about FHM Philippines. I’ve been thinking about doing more than agency tests and portfolio projects. Other than submitting for contests (which I don’t do), do you recommend doing anything business-wise to help find paying or at least published jobs? It can’t just be a popularity contest on FB/Tumble/Instagram.

A: As far as getting paid jobs I’m not proactive with it i.e. I don’t cold call people. A lot of my paid work has been due to clients finding and wanting to commission me.

Its not all about the likes, reblogs from social media. I shoot for myself and if someone else likes it then cool. At the end of the day someone is going to like my work and they may like it enough to commission me. In that case then its a good match. I’m not in the business to book every client based on their budget. It just doesn’t make business sense.

When I shot for NYLON they found me. Recently I’ve joined the folks at FHM Philippines as one of their photographers here in LA, that magazine found me. What I’m trying to say is, shoot for yourself and everything else will come into play. That’s what I’ve done and its worked for me.

This brings me to a reason to why I shoot.  I’m not in it for the likes or comments.  I want to share what I see, my vision.  If others like my work then great.  Its hard not to get wrapped up in shooting for others.  If no one likes or comments does that mean I’m doing something wrong.  Maybe.  But why should I change just for the acceptance of others.

I shoot for myself and if someone out there loves it that much more for their look book, campaign or even their model book.  That’s just icing on the cake.

P.S.  This picture has nothing to do with the Q&A.  I just like the picture 🙂

-Rodney Alan

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