I originally wrote this article for The Green Room on Rock n Roll Bride but as today is the anniversary of when the Eiffel Tower was completed, I decided to review and update it. Straight after our first Farm Week I had arranged to meet Kat, Gala and Shauna in Paris for a photo shoot. It was freezing cold and I insisted on dragging them around to find the perfect Parisian street with a view of the tower but I think it was worth it. You can see the images on Kat's blog. On the Eurostar on our return, I got to thinking about the tower and its purpose in the city. I mean it's really just a big giant metal tower, sure you can go up for an awesome view of the city and even have a meal in its restaurants but why is it there at all? So I did some research on the most recognisable iconic landmark in the French Capital.
Paris is a beautiful city with plenty of great architecture, culture and things to do but before the tower was built, many of its citizens were moving away from Paris and tourists were not exactly flocking there. Commissioned for the Exposition Universelle of 1889, Monsieur Eiffel's brief was to create a temporary structure to mark the entrance to the Fair. Despite facing much criticism, he seized the opportunity and designed the tallest structure in the world at that time. Once completed, visitors to Paris raved about the innovative lattice tower and left armed with their photographs of it and talk of going up in the amazing lifts or dining in its fine restaurant with great views. Suddenly the fortune's of Paris had improved and these visitors were filling up the hotels and cafes. People rapidly moved back to Paris and it was suddenly one of the most exciting capitals and most visited cities in the world. Of course that tower has never been deconstructed and no visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower.
It dawned on me that as businesses, we all need our own Eiffel Towers. That one thing that draws people to you, makes them talk about you or puts you on the map. It may be the obvious thing, like an award or major accolade or something you dream up all on your own. With the right idea at the right time and in the right place and you could be really making your mark in the industry. Think like Monsieur Eiffel and grab any opportunities that come your way and make them as big as they can possibly be... The BIGGEST!!! So what if it's never been done before or people feel the need to criticise? Keep building it, but build it with innovation, integrity and put all that is unique about you into it. Your passion will shine through and that is what really fires up other people and makes them want your services.
As a result of the recession, almost every freelance career is over saturated. Certainly wedding photography is and now wedding photography training is too. I have recently come back from the Third Farm Week, which takes Photography Farm to a whole other level. This year's event was our biggest hit yet, workshops sold out and the mentors were all incredible. But now that Farm Week is over and so are the big Trade Shows that we committed to this year, I need to apply the same thinking to my photography. Spending time at Farm Week with photographers at the absolute top of their game, made me realise that not only do they push the creative boundaries, they do so without concern at what others might think of them. They also provide a client focused service. I am working on this side of my business now. A few years ago they decided to cover the Eiffel Tower in a nightly light show, just to add that extra sparkle. So I'm looking at my business and thinking how can I be more Eiffel and how can I add the sparkle?