Get Your Work Out There - and Never Give Up

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I meet hundreds, if not thousands, of photographers each year on my workshops and at my seminars. Some have the dream of turning pro and making pictures full time. They ask, "How can I make my dream a reality?"

My advice to these dedicated photographers:
- Read Real Magic by Dr. Wayne Dyer, who talks about how we can create magic in our lives. Hey, it worked for me. I worked in an ad agency in NYC for 10 years before turning pro;
- Get your work out there;
- Never give up.

I go on to share my best "Get your work out there" and "Never give up" stories.

First, my "Get your work out there story."

Several years ago, a local arts club in Croton on Hudson, NY (where I live) was having a photo show in the church. They wanted me to include a few of my pictures. At the time, I was busy, working on international projects and a few books. I told the show organizers that I did not have time to make archival prints, mount them in archival mats, select cool frames, and so on. I did say that I would definitely be in the show the following year.

Well, they used the magic word, "please." I stayed up late one night and made the archival prints and then bought custom mats and frames.

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Good thing for me, because the small, local show was reviewed in the local paper by someone very well known in the art field. Here is what the reviewer said:

"For their incisive vision, sumptuous textures and colors, and the sheer wonder these finely detailed descriptions of butterflies awaken in us, I think Rick Sammon's photographs are marvels." – Maria Morris Hambourg, Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

Wow! What photographer could ask for more?

With Maria's permission, I used her quote on the back of my book, Flying Flowers - the beauty of the butterfly, which I had been working on for a year. (Since the publication of the book, I produced two butterfly apps which are listed on My Apps page.)

Did the quote help sales and reviews? You bet!

The moral of this story: Get your work out there. You never know who is watching - and who can help you.

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Here is my best never give up story.

About 10 years ago, I had an idea for a children's book series, where the kids would wear 3-D glasses and the pictures would pop off the page.

I drove down from New York to Washington, DC to see the editor of National Geographic books, with a dummy (sample) in hand. I was super excited!

To make a long story short, the editor said that the red/green glasses were old technology and that no one would buy the books.

Well, two weeks later I signed a contract with the Nature Company, which became Discovery Channel stores, to produce six books. They send us to Kenya, Costa Rica, Tahiti and Bonaire to produce the books. The books sold 20,000 each. We went on to produce two more 3-D books: 3-D Wings and Our Nation's Capital in 3-D. (All these books are out of print.)

The moral of this story: Never give up!

Get your work out there and never, never give up my friends.

Explore the light,

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