Thoughts & Images (#003)

Thoughts & Images by Scott Robert Lim

“The bigger the dream, greater the sacrifice”

Let your journey begin

It is easier to be a multi millionaire than to be a full-time, self sufficient, professional photographer. Living a life of a self employed artist is one of the hardest things in life to accomplish. Quite frankly, it would be a dream come true for many to be a full time photographer/artist earning a sufficient wage . I contend the general public does not personally know very many people or any friends who are self employed artists who can earn a decent living with their craft. I would wager most of us know more multi millionaires than successful artists. If one can beat the odds and make it as a full time artist , it is almost like winning a lottery since very few have done it. The question remains, is it luck, meant for only those who are naturally gifted or is there a formula to this success?

As a mentor, one of my greatest joys have been helping a number of artists do the impossible- develop careers as self sufficient photographers. It is currently one of my primary goals in life and a passion. As I study success patterns I have noticed one key factor that makes a HUGE difference between those who “make it” versus those who don’t.

There is one common thread that binds these successful photographers and it is directly related to SACRIFICE. All of the photographers who have “made it”- sacrificed and gave up working their traditional jobs and committed 40-80 hours a week to develop their craft and business. The success rate for those who’ve have done this versus those who haven’t is such a huge gap I now assume if an artist doesn’t spend at least 40 hours a week at their craft for several years, they will almost NEVER become world class photographers who can independently support themselves and a family. It is common to see the part time photographer do well for maybe a year or two but their business usually fades for a few reasons…

Their work may be sufficient for part time income but it does not transcend to the next level of excellence required to provide them a good, full time income. Here are three reasons why…

1. They don’t have the time required to practice 50 hours a week devoted to their craft and transcend their work.

2. They don’t have the proper learning base or have a very successful mentor that will groom them into a world class artist and business person.

3. It is harder and harder for part time photographers to separate themselves from the masses. Technology and digital imaging software will always close the gap between the good and average photographer. Don’t be just good, be WORLD CLASS in imagery and in business.

The path to becoming a professional athlete is very similar to becoming a full time artist. There MUST be a HUGE sacrifice of time and commitment! The odds of making it are slim but the pay off is downright amazing.

PLEASE RESPECT OUR JOB AND THE INDUSTRY! Part time effort and sacrifice is never going to compare to those of us who have invested YEARS of FULL TIME dedication and sacrifice. I have poured my heart, soul, mind, body, spirit and MAJOR financial resources to get where I am. Sorry to say, there are no shortcuts, no magic formulas.

“No pain, no gain”, as the popular saying goes. If anyone wants to even consider becoming a gainfully employed artist and produce work at a world class level, it is a full time commitment and this person will have to find 40-60 hours a week devoted to developing their craft to catch up with those of us who put in this amount of time and effort.

the DREAM continues…

I would like to commend a few photographers that I have helped.  I am extremely proud of their accomplishments as successful,  FULL TIME photographers. They truly beat the odds and I know they sacrificed much to get where they are now!

Marie-Lyssa, Toronto, Canada

Bandele Zuberi, Birmingham, UK

Tauran Woo, Los Angeles, CA

Gurm Sohal, Vancouver, Canada

Sarah Dawson, Sacramento, CA

Esther JuLee, Atlanta, GA

Mandie Haberman, Madison, WI

Junshien Lau, San Jose, CA

Erik Vail, Seattle, WA

Stephen Ng, Sacramento, CA

Chris Chen, New York, New York

Amber Hughes, Vancouver, Canada

Arielle Langhorne, Pensacola, FL

JEZA- Zabrina Deng & Jeremy Chan, San Francisco, CA- On the rise, both have quit their full time jobs to pursue photography as a full time career and will make it!! Please book now while affordable!

 Renae Lamb, Sacramento, CA

Stroll down memory lane! I have MANY fond memories, some of the best moments of my life with the people below.  I have been blessed to be a part of many of these fine photographers for several years. Here are a few pictures of us around the world…

Paris, Musee D'Orsay

Stephen and SouWah's Wedding

Japan, SR X MJS!!

Las Vegas- Our award winning prints on the same wall at WPPI! Can someone tell me to smile next time!

This photo was published in a popular photo magazine in Hong Kong!

The amazing workshop in Sevilla, Spain!

This restaurant in Spain tried to charge us 90 euros extra, worse service ever but the best of times!

Sevilla, Spain

Stephen and SouWah's Wedding- it all started in Sevilla, Spain!!

Hangin in our amazing villa in Paris!! Great times!! My third workshop in Paris

Las Vegas, WPPI! Not really sure what Lyssa was on that night!

My first international workshop, Paris.

My first NYC workshop, good times on the subway!

"Push it through", Paris- no need to say more.

Texas school with my good friends from Sony!

Thanks to the Beijing Beauties, we won third place!!!

This was the week I first met Zabrina and Jeremy- thanks for the amazing China experience!! JEZA would never see life the same way after this week together.

What a great time in Japan we all had!! Thurs karaoke night will NEVER be forgotten!!

Venice workshop! Another amazing few days!!!!

Thanks to Tom and Deb who modeled for us in Venice!! The start of a beautiful relationship!!

Paris, Musee D'Orsay, the workshop Lyssa pulled me aside on our bus ride back to our hotel on our last day and said, "Scott, this can't end". The tears in her eyes told me life would never be the same for her from that moment on.

The 3am photo with girls that won a major award at WPPI!

Good times on the Great Wall of China!

Shanghai, China. SR X CM workshop!!!!

MY first NYC workshop, Chris Chen helped me put this together, awesome times!

Workshop in my stomping ground years ago, this is where I took B's famous "golden delicious" profile pic!

Pasadena, CA

This room is where my teaching career started!! fond memories in this little room, where my journey of becoming a world class educator began!!


My second, amazing workshop in Paris!!

candid in front of one of the most famous paintings in the world!

Las Vegas workshop!!

SF Workshop, was it every cold at the end of the day!!

Having some coffee at the Louvre, Paris!!

The unforgetable UK workshop!!

The unforgetable UK workshop!! Thanks B!!! How many times did we eat Indian food?

The only workshop where we had a gallery exhibit of some of our images we took that week! Jago! What an extremely rewarding evening!!

Sneaking around places we were not suppose to be, in Sevilla, Spain!! The flamenco dance school!!!

Our favorite crepes spot in Sevilla, Spain. We would always end up here and wait 60 min for our crepes to be made!!

A chance to pose with the amazing flamenco dancer! hot, hot, hot!!

This day was so emotional- saying goodbyes in Spain- not a dry eye around. I suggest you never be the first or last to leave an SR workshop!! It can feel so lonely when the week is done.

The fantastic Carribean Cruise workshop!! Had the most amazing time!!

It was really cool to dress up and eat dinner together at our alloted reservation time on the cruise ship!!


Hangin out in my cabin on our way to the Caribbean!!!

Messin around in South Beach, Miami!!

A few years later, hanging at Esther's fab wedding- it was a musical!!!

Oakland, CA

where love began for these two!! Sevilla, Spain!! Glad I was there!!!

Celebrating after winning my Kodak Award at WPPI!!

Gotta love a cruise workshop!! Last night together!!

Our most recent NYC workshop!! we danced up a storm this night and took some amazing images!!


Our first family and friends workshop in Hawaii!! What great moments, can't believe the summer is over!!

LET YOUR JOURNEY BEGIN, come to the next SR International Workshop…

Bahamas Cruise Workshop Dec 15-19, 2011

September 7, 2011 - 11:44 am

Stephen Anthony Ng - You’ve been a wave of change for so many people in this world. You truly know how to let your light shine giving hope to people for the pursuit of the extraordinary life. Lives have been changed forever because you listened to your heart and followed your dreams. The best part, I met my best friend and the love of my life. In life, sometimes we are REALLY just one stepping stone from the most phenomenal life changing experience. Who would of ever thought I would meet my beautiful wife at a photography workshop. Just say yes and you will be amazing where life takes you =)

November 23, 2011 - 11:28 am

How To Be a Full-time Photographer – Part 2 » Scott Robert LA - […] who has established generational success. Any great education program must pass down a ‘legacy of success” just like other prestigious learning institutions i.e., Julliard for music, Harvard for Law, […]

November 23, 2011 - 12:40 pm

Finding the Right Training Part 3 » Scott Robert LA - […] which did happen because I trained other photographers and told them all my trade secrets. However, I’m proud of these mentorees because some are doing really well and it proved I had a formula for success despite the incredible […]

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