Posted: January 16th, 2013 | Author: Daniel Kelleghan | Filed under: insight, Inspiration | Tags: insight, inspiration | No Comments »
If someone is successful it’s easy for people to deduce that they got there by luck. Occasionally this may be true, but overwhelmingly this is not the case.
You make your own success. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities will arise. I attribute my (arguably minuscule) success to anyone but me. My mother had a giant role in shaping who I am today. We were extremely close growing up and she is the strongest woman I may ever know. She is always building me up and putting confidence in what I do. This has been an incredible backbone for me and it’s played a huge part in where I am today.
My friends and family have been very supportive as well and also lately people who read this blog have gone out of their way to thank me for my little bits of advice. These things give me strength to keep going.
All this aside, I didn’t fall into being a photographer by chance. I’ve been working my a** off since I was in high school perfecting my craft, promoting myself to magazines, going to school/working a job simultaneously, etc. I’ve made huge sacrifices in my life to allow me to continue on with my passion that eventually led me to a full time job as a photographer. It hasn’t been easy. I could have gone the route of becoming a businessman or some other lucrative career but instead I found something that would be fulfilling to me as a person. I followed that passion and suffered through the successes.
I’ll write a post later about the joys of owning your own business which far outweigh the drawbacks. The fact is, if you want something you have to work for it. Occasionally I get a little upset when people say that I’m lucky. I’m lucky that I have a great foundation built by my family/friends, but from there on it hasn’t been luck at all. You get what you put out- if you work hard you’ll do just fine.
The next time you see a wildly successful person instead of blaming their success on good luck, dissect the actual reasons that they’ve gotten to where they are. I guarantee that 95% of the time they’ve put in more blood, sweat, and tears than you realize.
Posted: January 15th, 2013 | Author: Daniel Kelleghan | Filed under: insight, Inspiration | Tags: insight, inspiration | No Comments »
People’s perceptions surprise me. For some reason it’s become common not to follow up when meeting people or reaching out to new potential contacts. There seems to be an overwhelming trend to not even bother because people feel like they’ll just be thrown in a pile with all the other hopeful people who are trying to get a break.
This is where things get mixed up. The fact is, I’ve found that it’s often a little thing like a follow up that makes the biggest difference. The first thing I thought of which slightly relates to this is what’s known as the Bystander Effect which was first named by John Darley and Bibb Latané in 1968. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s the gist- Say someone who has had an accident, say, a heart attack in a public space. There are a bunch of people around to help so that person should be bombarded with help, right? Wrong. The bystander effect states that the more people that are present, the lower the chance of any one person doing anything. This phenomenon occurs because we assume that someone else will take care of the person in need and we don’t have to. By now you should see the problem-no one does anything in the end. There are a few notable examples of this (see the wiki page)
What I’m talking about has nothing to do with people in need in public. However, I think the perception of reaching out and getting lost in the mix of other people doing the same exact thing is similar. People tend to think that someone else will do it and make a contact or get a job, in effect discouraging you from even taking the first step.
If you want to succeed in whatever field you’re interested in but are afraid of blending in with the rest, take some initiative and stand out. This isn’t rocket science. Treat everyone you meet like you’re the only other person that he/she knows. Reach out and form a relationship. They’ll see how you go above and beyond to cultivate relationships and this speaks volumes.
It doesn’t take much- a simple email or phone call will do. Don’t be afraid of rejection either, it will happen less often than you might expect. If one person falls through you still have more fish in the sea. After all, there are 6 billion people on this earth!
Take the extra step and… Go!
Posted: January 14th, 2013 | Author: Daniel Kelleghan | Filed under: On Location, Portrait | Tags: Fabrice Calmels, The Joffrey Ballet | No Comments »
Photography: Daniel Kelleghan
Assistant: Sarah Derry
Posted: January 12th, 2013 | Author: Daniel Kelleghan | Filed under: Studio | Tags: Studio | No Comments »
Last week I had the opportunity to shoot with Zeke Thomas, the son of the famed NBA player Isaiah Thomas. He killed it an Entrepreneur’s Eve and at Lumen a couple nights before that.
Posted: January 9th, 2013 | Author: Daniel Kelleghan | Filed under: insight, Inspiration | Tags: insight, inspiration | No Comments »
Yesterday I was in a bit of a rut because of some news that I got from a company that basically said I wasn’t a good fit for them. These things happen all the time in photography (and in most other professions as well) regardless of the level you’re at, but the sting is always there no matter how many times you have to deal with it.
To make it worse, Grant Legan, best friend and fellow photographer, has worked with the company that I was trying to work with for awhile now.
The reason I’m telling this story is twofold. First of all, this situation pushes me to do better. When I have a friend who’s in a similar profession (or in this case the same exact one) it pushes me to make better work and ultimately to be as successful as possible.
I am competitive. I don’t think there are many people in the world who aren’t. Against my better judgement, I compare myself to other photographers constantly. Ideally I would be completely satisfied only seeing my own work and not caring what other photographers are producing but this does not breed success like a healthy dose of competition.
Now, this all has to be done in moderation. I’m not getting hung up on this relatively small lost opportunity. I’m confident in my own work enough that I know that there will be more amazing opportunities ahead. I also know that talking about this with Grant is a healthy way of diffusing my small problem.
I brought it up with him and we were talking casually and with no hostility. We know the situation we’re in. We’re at high risk of getting in fights. We’re both aggressively trying to be the best at what we do and I think he’s super talented. We talk about these things fairly often and the sense of openness really makes our lives more tolerable.
The bottom line is this. I could get hung up on this small mishap, or I could use this to push myself to create better work and help me grow more as a person and a businessman. It’s really a blessing in disguise that I’m friends with someone who is competing with me so closely but yet still a fantastic friend.
We joke about this all the time. I believe our friendship has pushed both of us to outdo the other but in the friendliest way possible. I recommend not turning away friendships with people in similar industries because you think they’ll steal your ideas or take your business. Do not be intimidated- You never know when you can talk to them about a problem that they have had experience with or you get a referral for a job because they can’t shoot it. It’s also fun to share bits of information with people who don’t have the experience that you have and you get the satisfaction of helping someone in need. It also allows you to have an inner view of how they work which is a great way to humanize your favorite photographers that you may look up to.
All in all, we all need friends and the close ones that you have want to help you. Try to find a few in a similar field and I promise you an increase of the quality of work you put out and a person you can talk with about things other people wouldn’t even begin to understand.
Competition is good!
PS- here’s a photo from a recent shoot with Simon Sinek, a real though leader of our generation that I had the pleasure of photographing in NY a couple weeks ago. If you haven’t seen his incredibly inspiring TED talk, watch it here!
Posted: December 31st, 2012 | Author: Daniel Kelleghan | Filed under: Internships | No Comments »
Are you a photographer who is aspiring to take your art to the next level? Are you interested in seeing the inner workings of a photography business? I’m currently in the processes of searching for suitable intern or two.
At this point I’m looking for these key qualities:
- Positive attitude: This is the most important for me above all else
- Organized/on time
- Basic/moderate understanding of how to use photoshop and Lightroom and be familiar with Mac computers
- Have similar aspirations: I work with fashion bloggers, corporate clients, wedding/portrait clients, and magazines to name a few. If you do not have similar goals, this internship may not be for you.
- Availability 2-3 days a week, up to 8 hours a day: Ideally you’ll be available within these guidelines. We can work with your schedule to make this work out. My schedule can be pretty hectic as well so flexibility is ideal!
- Enjoy adventure and be ready for anything!: In the photography business you never know what will happen day to day. You must be able to adapt quickly and go with the flow
- Problem solving: You must have good problem solving skills
Now for the good stuff… What do you get out of this?
- Able to see the inner workings of a photography business from the inside out. You’ll see how things like invoicing and client relationships work.
- Networking skills: I’m passionate about networking and have learned a lot about what it takes to make it in a complex photography market. I love sharing my knowledge!
- Improve editing skills in Photoshop/Lightroom
- See how I work with people to make the comfortable and bring out their best qualities
- See how extensive lighting setups are created
What exactly will you be doing?
- Assisting on shoots
- Basic editing, organizing and emailing clients
- Client follow up
- Prepping/taking down my studio for shoots
- Various other tasks such as contacting make up artists, photo shoot planning, getting coffee/food, things like that
- General organization and scheduling
- Social media updates and blog/website updates
At this point (though it may change in the future) this is not a paid internship. However, I’m going to be offering something that typical internships don’t include. If the client allows for an assistant budget, I’d pay you accordingly. Generally this is $20-25 hour or $200/day. However, hoots like this are unpredictable so I can’t promise consistency.
That’s it! If you think that this would be a good fit for you please contact me at dankelleghan(@)gmail.com with a short bit about yourself, a sampling of your work, and why you want the internship. Good luck… Don’t be shy!