ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

All Posts By

Thomas Kennedy

The Future of Work

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All visual communicators are subject presently to the twin disruptors of technology and digital media that have been constants for the past two decades. These disruptors have radically altered both the supply and demand sides of the economic equation and any consideration of future monetization strategies has to begin here. For most of the 20th century, professional photographers built their business models on the notion of scarcity on the supply side and abundance on the…

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Listen & Learn

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I believe any networking effort is best undertaken as an exercise in learning first about others’ needs. In order to be of value with your own work, you have to understand how your capabilities and interests might align with a need that others have in their life. Understanding that need and assessing whether you can meet it is crucial to getting business and keeping clients.   Too many make the mistake of seeing networking solely through…

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The Opposite of Certainty

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“Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.” ― Tony Schwartz, Author This quote is at the heart of the intersection of curiosity and creativity. It is a location that should become a familiar destination to everyone engaged in visual communication. Often,…

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Communicate Fully to Prevent Conflicts with Clients

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Preventing conflicts with clients is part of a being a true professional. Creating opportunity for the client-photographer relationship to flourish requires patience, attention to detail, and good communication throughout the assignment process from the initial contact to the final product delivery. Avoiding conflicts starts with asking relevant, probing questions about how a client is framing an assignment request and why they are seeking the assignment as a solution to a particular business need. Often that…

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Ready to Launch: Build Your Networks

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Launching a career can seem like an overwhelming task. There are so many things that need immediate attention, ranging from developing a business plan and setting up appropriate paperwork and relationships to support the business to finding immediate assignments that can begin to produce income. In the present world of always-on digital contact, there is still a huge role for face-to–face connection. Its importance is easily overlooked while contending with a list of endless daily…

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Enhanced Consciousness = More Creativity

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This summer, I’m reading books by creative talents I admire to see what insights they offer about the creative process and how they gain the inspiration to get started. By chance, I started with Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity by David Lynch, one of my favorite filmmakers. Part autobiography, part discussion of film techniques and craft practice, it also explains how he uses Transcendental Meditation to achieve clarity as he sets about…

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Making Peace with Failure

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Failure is perhaps the most dreaded word in our vocabulary as professional creative people. To many, the word conjures up painful experiences and devastating losses. It equals loss of income, self respect, and reputation. It can mean a loss of self esteem and self confidence. And it can be paralyzing to creative impulses. Like many things for the professional photographer, I would submit there is another way to look at failure and see it in…

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Developing Talent

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Among other things, team management is about alignment, coordination, and developing the strengths of those around you by understanding individual aspirations. A wise manager ignites personal passions and makes developing team chemistry a high priority.  This starts with having a vision for each person’s role on the team, and making that vision a jointly shared responsibility.  A manager who is passionate about developing the skills of others on the team is more likely to gain…

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Zig When Everyone Else Is Zagging

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Earlier in my career, I worked for a brilliant editor.   After getting a new position, I went in to have a conversation with him about what he expected.   I described my own vision for my new role for several minutes, then paused, and waited for his response.   After a couple of minutes of silence and staring off at a corner of the ceiling, he looked directly at me and said, “I want you to zig…

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Staying Focused to Build Business Opportunities

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Telling photographers to focus as a way of improving their business may seem like an absurd suggestion. However, after a conversation a former colleague, I realize there is truth to the idea. We are living in a time when providing unique photographs in a specific genre may not be enough to guarantee an effective livelihood. As a result, many colleagues (myself included) are moving to do a number of different things, either nearly simultaneously or…

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