Knowing your market value
It took me six years to find my style. That was a long time. I had my own photo studio back then and tried out all sorts of things. I took so many embarrassing photos, I can't even show them to you.
On my hard drive I barely have any pictures from that time. Ok ok, here are some of the old photos from my early days, so you know what I am speaking about.
And so it took me six years until I knew where my journey was going. I belive, everyone should take this time. These are not lost years, but an examination of the creative process, which is simply necessary in order to reach maturity.
You never stop learning anyway. I'm better today than I was five years ago. And in 10 years I might smile about my pictures from today.
It is important that you always work with passion. And it's also good to be in love with your own works. Enthusiasm drives you.
Dealing with rejection
Back then, I applied to the German GQ magazine with a series of photos of nothing but black spray-painted office items and a model in underwear. I received a polite rejection very quickly and am grateful for that. It was a clear signal that I wasn't where you have to be to get published. And for me an incentive to do things differently.
Fake it 'til you make it!
Of course, you shouldn't make yourself too small either. Our industry is teeming with loudmouths and braggarts. I do not belong to those. It is also difficult for too humble people. I recommend them to fake a little, to present themselves a little bigger. That's all ok if you are able to deliver later.