What can Messi and Ronaldo teach you about photography

What can Messi and Ronaldo teach you about your photography business?

I’m not going to lie… with the world cup on and my wife overseas with her family for 3 weeks I’ve been watching a little too much football.

I figured I better do something mildly useful with all that wasted time and tenuously link football with photography.

Here goes.

Messi and Ronaldo are clearly two of the best footballers to have ever lived.

What can they teach us?

They work harder than most – continuing to train when the rest of the team has gone home.

They’re completely different players. Ronaldo is all about muscle, power and athleticism while Messi is fleet of foot and thought.

Great photographers come in different styles too…


…stylised glamour

…dark and brooding

…fun, light and airy.

Be true to yourself and own that style.

My style is happy and colourful and fun.

I’m sure lots of purists would scoff at my work.

But I like creating happy, fun and colourful photographs because I have fun creating them and they make me and my clients happy.

That’s all I care about. Making me and my clients happy.

Messi could feel inferior to Ronaldo because he doesn’t have the strength and power.

Ronaldo could feel inferior to Messi because he can’t glide past 4 players like a ghost.

They stick to what they’re best at, although they do practice their weaknesses.

You need some people to hate you so that some people will love you. Ronaldo splits opinion hugely.

Clearly I don’t know him, but to me he seems too arrogant and too narcissistic. But my nephew LOVES him.

Conversely I have a man-crush on the quiet and humble Messi.

But to some Messi might be considered lacking in personality.

What are the lessons here?

Be yourself.

Be your best self and make yourself proud.

Don’t be afraid to stand out.

Don’t be afraid to have people roll their eyes at you.

Don’t be afraid to use your personality in your brand. Indeed you should. Ronaldo has his own goal celebration and even names his personal brand CR7.

Our podcast student Mari has branded her website ‘MariLand Images’ and we’re creating a brand around what that means.

Great though Messi and Ronaldo are, they can’t win on their own.

Most struggling photographers are struggling because they try and do everything themselves.

They don’t seek help.

They don’t ask questions.

They’re not prepared to invest in themselves.

We all need to be humble enough to seek and take advice.

But you also need to take risks.

Great footballers and great photographers try things others won’t.

They invent their own way of doing things.

The photographer Ryan Brenizer has the Brenizer method.

Ronaldo created the toe-poke freekick

Most of us daren’t think big.

We doubt ourselves.

Who are we do try THAT.

Why would anyone be interested in ME?

Why would anyone listen to ME?

What if they don’t like it?

What if they don’t like me?

Who am I to dare to be amazing?

I found the answer to that last question blu-taked to my uncle’s kitchen wall.

My uncle passed away 3 years ago. Cancer had taken both of his kidneys and he survived for two years like that by going to the hospital for dialysis every two days.

Despite that he was always in a  good mood and never complained.

The following quote from Marianne Williamson was on the wall of his kitchen. He wasn’t religious but he still found it beautiful and full of meaning. So do I.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

When I’m standing in front of a rabble of 100 wedding guests I give myself permission to just be me.

Whether that’s rounding them up while pretending to be a sheepdog or behaving like a lunatic to get the children to smile.

I’m sure some guests are wondering who this idiot is! But hopefully enough of them appreciate what I’m trying to do.

And because what I do is coming from a good place I’m comfortable doing it.

So what scares you?

What one thing makes you worry about what people will think?

High prices?

In person sales?

‘Performing’ in front of lots of people?

I’d love to know and I’ll try to help.

Have a great week and let your light shine.