We had the good fortune of connecting with Shane Baker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shane, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I’m a full time photographer. The vast majority of photographers are part-time or hobbyist. What am I doing that to get a different result? A few things: 1. If you are part-time and want to be full time, never make excuses for why you still have another job. You will struggle, but don’t lie to yourself and say “well I never wanted to be full-time anyway”. It’s self defeating. And worse… the things you tell yourself are the things you will get in life. So if you make excuses like this, life will give you the lie you are telling yourself and others. If you want to be full time, own it. Say it. Tell everyone. Doors and opportunities will open up for you. 2. Get really good at your craft. Not ok. Not good. Really good. Or great. There are thousands of photographers all around. Ok and Good do not stand out. You will get lost in the sea of other Ok and Good photographers. 3. Find mentors. Do not look for people who are just a little better than you. I have a personal guideline. Any mentor I get has to be 10x my skill level or achieving 10x the results I am. And be willing to pay for quality mentors. 4. Learn how to market your work or team up with someone who can. If you partner with someone make them show you proof that they helped someone earn actual money. And talk to the people they say they helped. Most marketing people are good at selling their services and poor at getting real and profitable results. Pick 2-3 ways to market you business and then focus on them. Do not get distracted. Are you really good at interacting with people on social media? Great. Do that. Are you really good at developing in person relationships? Great. Do that. Do not try to do 5 different strategies. You do not have the time or the budget or the in-depth skill to do that. If you are an artist and you are struggling to make a full time living you only have one of two problems: 1. You are not as good as you think you are. Solution: Spend your time getting better. 2. Not enough people know about you. Solution: Spend your time building more relationships online and offline. Final thought… Ask yourself if you really want this. There is nothing wrong with being a part-time or hobbyist at anything. But be honest with yourself. Understand who you really are, what you really want, what your skill level actually is and how good you really are at business. Then if you still want to be full-time… go hard and don’t let anyone discourage you from getting what you want.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The question being asked is what sets me apart from others. Two things: 1. I do not give up. I work harder than most people. This could mean longer hours studying or going the extra mile to travel to another state for the perfect background, or hiring the best team of hair/makeup artists for a project. 2. I can execute a wider range of photographer at a high level. Underwater. Fashion. Portrait. Architecture. No other local photographer has a portfolio that matches my quality in as many areas as mine. Yes, there are photographers who are better one category. But no other local photographer outmatches me in all these areas. I want to be clear that I’m not talking about style. That is subjective. I’m talking about the ability to produce commercial quality work in a variety of areas.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Any good visit to our area requires a stop at some of our amazing local restaurants. We have so many local places that serve incredible dishes! Then there is our landscape. Arizona is the only place I know where you can go from being in the dry, hot desert surrounded by saguaro cactus to being in the snow capped mountains in a green forest with just a 3 hour car ride. Finally there is our sunsets. They are the best in the world. Whatever the days events, stop and enjoy a sunset.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My life is filled with hundreds of incredible people who have supported me at various stages. There are too many to list but it includes every person who believed in me, hired me, commented and shared my online posts and referred me.

Website: shanebakerstudios.com
Instagram: instagram.com/shanebakerstudios
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SBakerStudios
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShaneBakerStudios/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/shanebakerstudios

Image Credits
Photographer: Shanebakerstudios.com

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