How Elephants Can Show You Your Potential as a Photographer

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In many parts of the world, Elephants provide a functional utility, like transportation. As such, an elephant must obey his owner and not run rampant. But an elephant is a pretty large animal, so you’d think he could easily break free and do whatever he wants, right? They can also teach us a lot as photographers.

But he doesn’t. Why? How does an elephant owner keep an animal that is 100 times his weight and size under control?

It’s because of a habit that is formed during an elephant’s infancy.

A learned habit

When an elephant is young and small, his owner will chain him to a large tree. The young elephant will try to break free of the chain, but because he is so small and the tree is so large, he can not.

Over time, as the elephant keeps trying to break free, he eventually learns that when he has a chain around his ankle, he cannot break free. He is constrained. Eventually, he just stops trying.

As the elephant grows larger and stronger, he associates the chain around his ankle with a physical constraint.

This is why you can see a grown 7-tonne elephant chained to a small piece of wood lodged in the ground. He won’t try to break free, even though we know he easily could. He is still under the impression that he cannot; that chain equals physical constraint.

This story tells us a lot about implied limitations.

How you are exactly like the elephant

You are exactly like the elephant. Photographers are limited by the current systems and processes they’re using in their business. And – much like the elephant – you probably don’t even know about it, because you may not know any better.

Even if you feel like you are efficient, productive, and organized, you are still not doing all that you could be doing. You’ve adapted to what you’re used to doing, you’ve found work-arounds, you’ve compromised. And worst-of-all, you probably have done all of this without even being aware of it.

Like the elephant, photographers have been conditioned.

But what if the elephant knew he could break free? Would he?

Me telling you about Sprout Studio is like someone walking over to the stick the elephant is chained to and yanking it out of the ground. If the elephant decides to do something with this newfound knowledge, it will change his trajectory forever. It removes the limitations and the shackles; literally and figuratively.

If he decides to act, he’ll never be the same. He’ll have overcome the very limitations he didn’t know he had.

Elephants in the wild

What will you do with what you know?

What about you, though?

Will you allow yourself to overcome the very limitations you probably don’t know you have? How do you break a habit in the first place?

This moment, right here, right now, is a moment of realization. Me telling you about Sprout Studio is me walking up to the stick and pulling it out. Like the elephant, if you act on this new realization, your limitations will be stripped away. With Sprout Studio, photographers will discover more time, become more organized, be more professional, deliver a more consistent customer experience and make more money.

Do you want all of this? Will you be brave enough to accept your implied limitations and let yourself move beyond them?

The answer is right here, and I’m excited for you to discover a new reality.

P.S. Just a disclaimer – I am not condoning using elephants or other animals as beasts of burden, however this seemed like a good analogy to illustrate my point.

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