Hi, it's Stephen here.
For a few weeks now we’ve been in deep discussions about how to navigate the current COVID crisis and, more importantly, support the industry we love so much. So it seems a little ironic that, as part of those discussions, today we’re releasing a book called “Love’s Not Enough”. Ironic because we do love our industry, we believe love drives our industry, and yet … love's not enough.
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Anyone who’s got close to Queensberry and our family knows that, while we love what we do as craftspeople, print technicians and IT geeks, it’s the relationship we have with you that truly drives us. We admire everyone who strikes out on their own as a professional photographer, we find it really hard to see people struggling, and if there’s a way to help that’s what we want to do.
So — like you I’m sure — we’ve been discussing what’s happening right now, and what happens next. And while the virus is unprecedented in our lifetimes, and the trauma it’s inflicting very real, this is not the first time we’ve seen widespread disruption in our industry.
Just two examples… At the turn of the century the digital revolution turned life upside down for professional photographers. And in 2007-8 the GFC was devastating for many of our customers. In fact we’re all part of an industry that’s been in a state of perpetual revolution for fifty years — maybe since 35mm cameras and colour film took over from medium format and black and white!
So COVID may well be the worst challenge we've faced, but it’s not the first, and may not be the last.
Yes we understand the anxiety, confusion and uncertainty, and we feel the same. But if we dwell in that state we’ll stay in that state. If we ask disempowering questions, we get disempowering answers. And the reverse is also true — quality questions create quality answers.
Which brings me back to the beginning. As we were discussing all this Alex said, “I think it’s time to be brave and get Grandad’s book out there.”
Why now? “Because it says on the cover, lessons learned from 50 years listening to successful Social Photographers. It's even got a chapter on what to do if you're in a crisis.”
Why brave? Because we’d be surprised if you agreed with everything Ian says. So would he! But he asks a lot of quality questions, and they’ll help you work out quality answers, even if they’re not his.
The book is about the business of photography, not the art and craft. As he says, “You love what you do, but you’re in business and you want to get paid.” The book is about what that takes.
So I hope you’ll read it, it’s free — so good value for money! You can dive in anywhere, but honestly it’ll only take an afternoon to read in full, and if you do that you’ll end the day with a head buzzing with ideas.
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Take in what Ian has to say, work out what makes sense to you … and what you’re resisting!
I suggest you pay attention to the ideas you’re resisting because that might be where the answers lie. I think we often resist ideas for three reasons:
1. "It might work for some, but it’s not right for me." That's OK — as Ian says, there are no right answers, just good questions. Work on your own answers.
2. "It’s a good idea but I’m not ready for it — yet." If your plan is a roadmap, this idea might be a stop on the way, or even the destination. Just make sure you’re on the right road.
3. "I know it’s right, but I'm not ready to commit." That’s not you, it’s your lizard brain, which wants to keep you safe. It encourages you to avoid brave commitments in case you fail. Don’t leave it to your lizard brain.
Thanks for reading this. I do encourage you to read the book, which you can download here, and join our Facebook community at The Insider. What we really want to do here is start a conversation, and add your ideas to the collective wisdom.
Thank you, Dad, for taking the time to write this, and to both you and Mum for all your wisdom and direction. I love you both. And thank you to all the photographers past, present and future who are part of our journey.
Our love to you and your families.