For many photopreneurs, it’s the ultimate goal: take beautiful pictures, use Photoshop to stamp your personality on them… and in between selling your prints and your books, get hired by giant corporations to create unique images that appear on huge billboards in your city.
For Chuck Anderson though, a Chicago-based artist and designer, that’s life. His client list runs from Absolut to Warner Brothers, his home-made photography book has sold over a thousand copies and in 2006, he was asked to judge the Art Directors Club Awards in New York.
And did we mention that he’s been doing this for just four years and — hold onto your stomachs — will only turn 22 sometime this year?
Ask Chuck how he got so far so fast though, and you’ll hear the answer to rapid success in any field: work hard and work well.
“I worked my butt off, stayed up late at night working [and] sacrificed quite a lot,” Chuck told us in an email interview. “In the beginning I just took whatever jobs I could get. Over the last three-and-a-half years or so I’ve become more selective, because I can be now… [My work] just really caught some people’s eyes at the right place and time, and I was blessed with a lot of awesome work coming my way.”
Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Actually, Chuck’s success might be a little more complicated than that. His work consists of simple images taken with his DSLR — for Chuck it’s the quality of the photographer not the camera that counts — then heavily edited to create unique psychedelic images that, as he puts it, “make something that is otherwise mundane and boring become exciting and vibrant and interesting.”
In essence, Chuck creates designs that are highly distinctive so that clients know exactly what they’re getting. And his site gets a lot of traffic from magazines, design and news sites, which enables him to sell his personal projects, such as limited edition prints and his self-published book through his online store.
So how can other photopreneurs follow Chuck’s success?
“Try and see the world in new ways,” Chuck suggests. “Show what you know, explore what you don’t, and try to learn new things about your surroundings.”
And have fun in the post-editing too.