I am convinced that everyone who is naturally gifted at marketing themselves is a psychopath of Voldemortian proportions. We are quite lucky in that Voldemorts are incredibly rare. How, then, is it that everyone else seems to be soo much better at putting themselves out there than me|you|that guy we both know?
SHORT VERSION: Harry Potter defeated Voldemort not by being more powerful, but by having a purpose. Therefor: Don’t market yourself, but campaign for the idea you believe in. What do you believe in? Ask yourself why you do the things you do. Easy. Your turn!
See, I always thought there was something wrong with me. That I was somehow incapable of pronouncing myself a photographer worthy of your time (and money). Sure, I too followed the internet’s advice to ‚fake it till I made it‘. I called myself a photographer in the hopes that this would somehow retroactively legitimise my claim. Yet I always felt like a cheat and STILL didn’t feel even remotely comfortable with promoting myself as an artist. I felt like Mr. Filch surrounded by students of wizardry.
I always read creative industry blogs telling me that this feeling is absolutely normal, that every artist has or had this. And they inspired me to keep doing what I was doing. „OK“, I thought, „if THEY made it this way, so might I…hopefully…“ And I felt like Mr Filch overhearing McGonagall tell some second year Hufflepuff to just keep practicing.
Sure, practice makes perfect. But was it practice that enabled Harry to cast a patronus charm? Practice may avoid casting the wrong spell and ending up with a buffalo on your chest. Practice may help you perfect the patronus charm – but it won’t get you there. For that you’ll need a different kind of magic. You will need to ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Why you can’t help smiling, whenever you see THAT image on the back of your camera. Why you get a fuzzy feeling whenever your clients bend over their album in disbelieve „What, this is me? I didn’t know I was this beautiful!“ Focus on this, cast your spell into the world, and your brand will emerge by itself. Sometimes it will be a stag, sometimes a dove, or a hare – but your purpose, your why, will always remain the same.
So as it turns out, people didn’t follow Harry because he was the chosen one. They followed Harry because they believed in what he believed in, they believed in his why.
So here’s that letter, you’ve been waiting for, here’s your letter from Hogwarts: Open your eyes, open your heart, be vulnerable, find your why; and then be strong, stick to your purpose, do.your.thing.
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From My Portfolio
Martin, you SPOILED me for every other photographer!!
Trust the stories you find in your heart. For they hold a truth deeper than what is true.
It’s just so surreal that all those absolutely wonderful pictures have me in them..! Martin, you are an artist!
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