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"Who are those guys"
Paul Nueman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
That's one of my favorite lines of all times in the scene when they are being chased by a superhero posse. Then Sundance (Robert Redford) replies back in a surly voice, "I don't know, but they sure as hell are somebody." E.R. Harriman of the Union Pacific Railroad hired the best to get the job done right. In doing so he did not look at stardom, power, entertainment, wealth, or a fast talker. He looked at what the person had accomphished. It seems to me that we need to do more of that.
So, it is a fair question if you want to hire me, to ask the question of what are my accomplishments. People hire me because of WHY & HOW I apply my knowledge. There are definitely photographers who have more expensive equipment and perhaps a better technical knowledge, but that is not what gets results. It's not what motivates people to respond. It doesn't even come close.
We are such a materialistic society that we forget about the human factor and motivation.
The same is true in web work. The changes are happening so fast on a weekly basis that everyone focuses on what someone tells them. Even if the information is outdated and no longer works. The vast majority waste their money on something that doesn't work. The people that can really help you are the ones who create and discover techniques with the knowledge.
I have successfully made a living with photography for 48 years now. Mostly because I did it different than others. When economy was tough I used photography to create projects or found organizations that needed photography to promote.
Choose your image maker wisely.