I recently listened to the audio book of Seth Godin’s The Dip from iTunes and I couldn’t help but apply what it says to photography.
Basically the dip is that part of any endeavor where the going gets tough and people quit. In business it is when the market rejects you, or you have technical hurdles, or you run low on capital.
In a sport it is where you get good, but not good enough for the next level. To get to the next level you are going to have put in hours and hours of practice. Since that is hard to do, few people will do it.
The world is set up to work this way. Not everyone can be CEO, so it takes years of working your way up the corporate ladder. Along the way lots of people quit because it isn’t worth it. Or they don’t put in the effort to keep improving themselves. Or they aren’t willing to do the dirty work that others won’t do. Eventually you weed out the wannabes and are left with the few who made it through the dip.
What does this have to do with photography?
Hopefully it is obvious. There are a lot of beginning photographers. They may buy expensive equipment, and read books, but they don’t get any better. Why not? Because they aren’t willing to do things that will take them to the next level. Go to a workshop. Hire a mentor. Shoot a lot more and in different media. Challenge themselves and grow.
I especially see this in model photography. Maybe they aren’t willing to approach a lot of models. Maybe they have one shooting set-up and they use it over and over. They don’t try new things: they don’t challenge themselves or their model. They don’t use an MUA because they don’t understand it. They don’t learn studio lighting, or they only do studio lighting.
They are in the Dip.
Now the question is, are you in the dip? Are you going to persevere? Or will you be a beginner forever?