The other day on a fb post about turnaround moments (which you can find here http://www.fabriziacosta.com/blog/the-turnaround-point) someone commented that talent is necessary to get anywhere in photography. This is the view held by many photographers, and to some extent it's true but I believe that talent is overrated. Yes, you do need something special to be exceptional, there’s no doubt about that, but you don’t need that to be a success in this world.
We all have some talent, every single one of us, and the issue here is that many have not yet found out what their talent is and how to use it. In reality, hidden talent will emerge when we get down to work, take action, commit, learn, train, and put hours into it.
They say that if you do something for 10,000 hours you become an expert. And that’s probably true, in terms of learning a skill and gaining specific knowledge about something, but that’s only about 50% of what we need to succeed in our business. The other 50% is what goes on in your head, what you believe you can and cannot do, and being open to receive. We’re so bad at receiving, we self-sabotage a lot. Negative talk in our heads will undermine all the work we do, but if we do the work and keep those voices down, there’s really no limit to what we can achieve.
We all know wonderful talented people who are struggling to make ends meet, or who can’t make a living out of their art and have to work a 9-5 job to survive. So is talent the defining factor? It’s quite clearly not the case!
Success is not just for the talented, it’s for everyone who’s willing to step further and put themselves out there and dare to be great. Your talent will emerge, grow and shine as you do the work, but your ability to generate wealth, or whatever your idea of success may be, lies much deeper than what you’re good at doing.
Whether you feel you’re talented or not, be aware it’s not the deciding factor in a successful business and life. Some even use that as an excuse to hold back! For years I didn’t even try to do things that I wanted to do because I kept saying I’m not good at them. And while I may still not be very good at them now (you don’t want to hear me sing), if I invested time and I trained with a teacher I would definitely become better… and eventually maybe even good! (watch this space for updates on my musical career ;)
Are you where you want to be in your business? Whatever you need to improve, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. I’m going to announce something in the next few days that will help you take your work in a whole different direction… I’ll be working with a closed group of 10 photographers motivated and committed to change their game and get their lives where they want them to be.
It’s Outside the Box Mastermind, just 10 photographers working together for 9 months, going through all the OTB modules in-depth and together, supported by me throughout the program.
Interested? Let me know and I’ll PM you the details before it goes public.
And if you're a professional photographer not in the OTB group yet, join here:
It’s like one ball in tennis. It can be the one point that turns the match around. One point, at any time, that comes just when it’s needed, and the effect is bigger than one point. It can define a game, a set, and even a match.
In a long match there are sometimes many of these, and they’re always BIG points. Memorable points. Emotionally charged. Points that are sometimes gambles, involving risk, to win or lose. Big risks sometimes. Like some of our decisions.
And they don’t always pay off, but playing it safe on those points is also no guarantee of getting them. In fact, it’s usually the risk-takers who win them.
The bold moves, the outrageous dares. The unexpected returns, the shots out of this world.
Champions train for these moments, when the pressure is huge and the stakes are high, but they (even they!) are only human after all.
Mistakes are made, and key points are scored. In tennis, in the end there’s only one winner. The match is limited, so many games, so many sets.
It’s not so for us, we can play as long as we want to… in fact we can play until we win.
No mistake is deadly, no mistake will ruin us (even if we think so), no mistake is the end of us. We can always learn and move on.
Recognize the big points, and be bold to go after them, and take risks if need be. And score. One ball at a time.
And if we feel fear holding us back we can focus on the game instead, nobody ever got anywhere by holding back.
Losing champions, they get to come back again next year. It’s never really over until they quit.
We come back tomorrow, and keep playing until we decide to quit, or win.
All it takes is a good set of balls.
I’m going to tell you a story today :)
A little over three years ago I set up my photography business in Austria: new country, new language I didn’t speak very well (still don’t), very different culture. After Milan and the fashion world, I was determined to do something completely different and photograph people instead.
I was a foreigner, didn’t have a studio (didn’t want one!), and Innsbruck was full of photographers offering CDs at 50€ a session. I was determined to be different, to offer high quality photography, to set the standard higher… but after some major personal disasters, 6 months later I found myself with a fledgling business, a broken family, and big financial commitments I couldn’t keep.
It was my darkest hour, of course, but also the start of the most exciting time in my life. I had to get down and study marketing and branding, figure out how to make a pricelist that worked, identify special products that set me apart from the competition. I had to work on providing the best service I possibly could, on creating custom shoots for each client, and a way to spread the message on the value of photography, because it’s not such a big thing in this part of the world.
Most of all, I had to dig deep and make changes within myself. Understand the value of what I do. Understand that money is not the be-all and end-all of everything, that a family book can be priceless, that photos are treasures, that my work can have a very deep impact and sometimes even change lives. It has happened, more than once.
I started to pour myself into my work and into my business, and my clients came to me. I started doing the photography I loved to do: documentary sessions, beauty sessions, relationship portraits, and producing beautiful books, fine art prints, images brought into the real world as something you can touch, feel, delight in.
Then I started sharing what I learnt with other photographers, and saw them changing, growing, prospering. This is not rocket science, it takes work and dedication and a willingness to take risks (we’re entrepreneurs!) and trailblaze your own path instead of dancing to everyone else’s music. But it works, it works for anyone who’s willing to take a step further, invest in themselves, get down to the serious business of running a business and making a success of it.
My deepest joy is to see this industry grow and photographers creating amazing work because their business is thriving. So at the end of 2016 I took a giant leap and Outside the Box became a reality. Everything I learnt, everything I discovered, every system I created, every struggle, failure and success are the building blocks of one of the most comprehensive business trainings for professional photographers. No matter whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for 40 years, this is about changing perspectives and developing new ways to move forward.
I had to change the way I saw everything, and as a result everything became new. New clients, new opportunities, new projects, even new eyes, because I could see ways I had never considered before. And all through this, my energy and my creativity have soared. I believe this is the life we are meant to live, to do what you love to do and kick ass every day. Go after those dreams and believe them into reality.
I was supposed to post the standard meme about the Vienna workshop here, but now this is the only possible image I could use. Yes, come to Vienna. You will not come home the same.
Find all the details and reviews here:https://www.facebook.com/events/455669044790626/?active_tab=discussion
And all the info and registration HERE
I'm posting mostly on facebook these days, but decided to resurrect the blog so that stories would be in the same place. Let's see if I get better at it :-)
The new year has started with a BANG and I already have enough to write for the rest of the year... from the Wedding Fair to the new website to my mentoring, everything about this year looks and feels exciting. And with the new website, the technical glitches on this blog have been sorted and I can write again!
There are a string of events lined up for the next few months, and this week I'm launching the first of my 2017 Workshops dedicated to professional photographers: we'll meet in VIENNA at the end of March to spend TWO DAYS on raising the level of our business and provide our clients with the highest quality of service.
Last year I ran the business part of the two editions of Toolbox Workshops in Italy, and this year I'm expanding it into a full, intensive workshop that will change the way you do business forever. You'll find all the info on the Vienna Workshop page HERE
To see me in action, here's the Toolbox trailer :-) I think I lost a bit of weight since then!
Now I realize that I'm not very well known outside of Italy (yet) and I can imagine you'd want to know more about me before you jump on board here, so if you'd like to understand more about what I do, just contact me and I'll be glad to give you a consultation about your business and the most pressing issues you're facing right now. No strings attached! :)
I don't want you to even consider coming to this workshop if it's not what you need, and I want you to be confident that you'll have a huge return on your investment, so I'm setting aside some valuable time for personal calls with about TWENTY photographers.
The only restriction is that all calls need to happen during February, as I'm travelling during most of March and I won't have enough time.
Just send a message on my facebook page or on whatsapp +43676 4664 171, and we'll set a date. It's the fastest way to do it, and the best way for you to figure out if this is for you.
(I believe in fast, efficient connections :-)
Or you can always send an email, if that's your preference.
How can i help you?
Just before the holidays, I was invited to one of those evenings that happen "only in Tirol": music and singing mixed with food, a good measure of drink, and a lot of friends to chat with.
Local choirs got together and were joined by a few refugee musicians, who brought their instruments and played traditional music. What a treat!
As Tiroleans do, the audience sits at tables, the bar provides food as well as drinks, and after a short while it feels like a party. Austrians sure know how to party :-)
Along with the frankfurters and the pretzels, we got a taste of Syrian cuisine. Including what was possibly the best baklava I ever had! These guys can play, and my goodness they can cook, too.
And when everyone had settled their menus... it was time to start the music. I always feel this is such a civilized way to do concerts.
Grand Master Andres directed the choirs, the audience and the children running on stage. As always, photos do little to convey the quality of the music, but I hope you get the feeling of how much fun this was. In the end everyone was singing along, of course, in the best Tirolean tradition.
But the best thing of all was to see the boys mixing with the locals, laughing, as carefree as could possibly be. Happy to share their music and their food with us, standing tall for all the compliments they got. It was possible, for a moment, to forget what they've been through and all the difficulties they still face before they're allowed to settle in this country. They have so much to give, they have so much potential.
I'm working on a photography project to make a difference for them. If you want to follow it, please like my facebook page and sign up for my newsletter and you'll be notified as soon as it goes live. You will love it :)
You can see all the photos from this evening HERE.
Black Tutus are "a thing"... but only when matched to a gorgeously designed and fitted corset.
And when they're made of at least 20 meters of tulle. It's what makes them fluffy, you know. Personally, I knew nothing about tutus except that this one photographed beautifully. But during the course of the day, I discovered some interesting things about corsets and tutus....
What happens when a photographer, a beautiful girl, and a makeup artist walk into a gorgeous Baroque Hall? If they meet up with a stylist holding an original 1950s vintage wedding dress... only BEAUTY can happen.
And what are the special ingredients that can transform a normal 18-yr-old girl into a Hollywood star?
Here are the 5 most important things for the perfect Grace Kelly wedding look.