In reading Rick's post below, I submit to you proof of his wisdom. This month alone, Rick has full page tearsheets in 4 seperate prom magazines; they're full page ads for his clients, and amount to amount a dozen full pages in all....in one month. (and yeah, he got paid for it too. A photographic Yoda once said, "best shot is the one you're paid for.")
I had a smaller tearsheet in Complete Woman this month...so I definitely had "tearsheet envy". He's given me the inspiration to shoot for the full page tear. (It is zero fun hanging out with this guy.) Anyway, not gonna settle for this partial page stuff any more.
It didn't come easy for him, yeah he's a good photog...this involves knowing the business side...talking to your clients, get on their side with confidence, not arrognance, asking what they want, making it happen when it seems impossible and wow-ing them. It's a process that involves 50% photography and 50% business acumen...coated with 100% schmooze.
Do the math....they don't shell out advertising $$$ on full page ads in national magazines if the work sucks, or if you didn't do your homework as a photog as to what will make you a success.
Best part: you'd never know if I didn't tell you. When you're full steam into the biz, the tear sheets become somewhat commonplace and you're concentrating on your next 5-10 jobs. You don't let the ground settle under your feet...as a photog, you're always moving, trying to increase your presence in the industry. That stuff's in print..it's done...it's already made him his money and success with that industry, that client...think: what am I doing over the next few months to ensure I get more work like that? Especially in slow season?
Here's a hint...it doesn't come from poor shooting or poor models...demand more of yourself and don't settle for shooting crap and that's from behind/in front of the lens. Period. And dedicate yourself to marketing yourself in ways conducive to the industry. The conduits are there...you need to recognize that if your conduits are taking you down the path of "passive hobbyist" or someone who's sick of people calling it your "little hobby", like you just joined the boy scouts. It's not about just seizing opportunity, it's about creating your own....you get to draw your own road map as no one will hand you one that's definitive and telling...no photog will walk you into their clients. Go get your own.
Get that sense of priority and excitement that Rick has imparted in his post...and maybe you'll get to the level of a dozen tear sheets (paid!) in a month. Seriously, Rick will take all the congrats with gracious humility, and will then say, "ok..time to get back to work." The industry doesn't stand still, and there are too many competing photogs out there taking the next, great image for their client as I type this and you read it.
I'm definitely working on my next tearsheet...Rick should not have all the fun.
So, get moving.