PHOTOGRAPHER DNA ASSESSMENT
To get the most helpful results, answer each question with fierce honesty. After each section you will be given a score and corresponding recommendation.
There are 14 sections. The assessment will take about 30 minutes to complete.
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First Name *

 
EXPERIENCE The degree of experience you have with photography.

 
Please select the choice that most closely resembles your formal education in photography, either at a college or an art school: *


 
Please select the choice that most closely resembles your informal education in photography: *

(i.e., paid workshops, seminars, or classes taken at conferences, community art centers, expert-photography tours, etc)

 
Please select the choice that most closely resembles the number of paid jobs you shot in the last 24 months: *


 
Please select the choice that most closely resembles the number of images you shoot, on average, per month: *


 
Please select the choice that best estimates the amount of money you have invested in photography equipment, including computer hardware and software: *


 
Please select the choice that most closely resembles the number of photography trade shows/conferences you have attended over the last 5 years: *


 
Please select the choice that most closely resembles the number of years you’ve considered yourself to be a professional photographer: *


 
Please select the choice that most closely resembles the number of years that photography has been your main source of income: *


 
I am able to manipulate all controls on my camera with ease. *

 
I have difficulty understanding how to use off-camera flash. *

 
I always get the image I am going after. *

Low Experience Quotient: 
You tend to be enthusiastic about the idea of photography but may not have had the experience necessary to accurately gauge whether or not you truly love, or belong in, this medium. This is a vulnerable spot for you if you’re considering going pro as it’s unclear whether your true motivation for the craft will be resilient enough to carry you through. Only gaining more hands-on experience will settle the matter.

Recommendation:
Do more actual photography-related activities; it’s that simple (e.g., take more pictures, experiment with light, read your camera’s owner’s manual, go to workshops, join online forums, invite your favorite photographer to lunch, etc.). Click your shutter 100,000 times this year. There is no shortcut in this category.Notice the response people give you and refine your language. When you're tempted to emulate other company's visions that you're attracted to, resist. These may inspire you but if they don't flow from who you are as the leader, they won't serve your business. Ironically, it will slow down the process of discovering the right articulation of what your company should be about.
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Medium Experience Quotient

With a Medium Experience Quotient you may be in the most challenging section of the learning curve. You know enough to get decent pictures much of the time but you’re increasingly conscious of what you don’t know. This is a critical stage, as who you’ll end up as professionally will key off the choices you make now. Think of it as the middle years of college: You don’t get the benefits of being innocent and new, nor do you get the accolades for being the veteran. This is a great testing stage, though, to see if you have what it takes to make it as a professional.

Recommendation:
Don’t settle for being pretty good. Identify the styles of photography you are most attracted to and do everything you can to emulate that style. Perhaps there are photographers who model what you’d like to aspire to. Go meet them online or attend one of their workshops. Make the style you’re drawn to your own by increasing the volume of your shooting. Now is your time to lean into your craft. Shoot, shoot, shoot.
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High Clarity Quotient

With a High Experience Quotient you may be pretty clear on what you like to shoot and how you go about capturing images. The challenge inherent in this stage is the temptation toward pride (which is the root of becoming a Grumpy - for more on Grumpies, see Fast Track Photographer). Of course, there are also dramatic benefits from being so experienced - you can largely capture whatever image you want with fewer and fewer limits.

Recommendation:
Do whatever you can to stay humble and expand your competitive edge. Never lose your amateur’s heart, no matter how technically skillful you become. It is sad to witness talented photographers lose their value to the marketplace (and society in general) because they come to believe they know everything and don’t need to continue to hone their skills or their attitude. This might be a great time to practice the habit of helping those who know less than you do or to set your sights on a whole new level of challenge. Perhaps you could enter some of your photography in print competitions or expand your knowledge base to new areas of photography (e.g., Photoshop skills, marketing, sales, customer service, etc.).
CONTINUE TO PART 2