The Weakest Link

In every operation there is a weakest link. It is the part of your business that holds you back.

Think of a bunch of people stranded on a desert island. If the island has enough water for 12 people, enough shelter for 15 people and enough food for 8 people – how many can really live there? You could build a high-rise apartment complex on the island – capable of housing 500 people – and the island still couldn’t hold more than 8 people. The weakest link always holds you back.

The key is identifying your weakest link. Don’t feel bad – we can’t be good at everything. The key is being able to determine which things you are good at and which things you are not. In a typical studio, for example, you need to have competent skills in photography, marketing, sales, general business, etc. You don’t have to be good at all of them. If you are bad at marketing, hire someone else to do that part of the business. If not, your business growth will always be limited by your marketing skill.

You can even get more specific with some of the areas, like photography. You have posing, lighting, creativity, and technical skills – to name a few. What if you are overflowing with creativity, a genius at the technical side of things and a masterful user of lighting – but clueless when it comes to posing the subjects? How good will your images be? In this case, improving your posing skills can make the difference between a terrible photographer and a top-notch artist.

Next time you sign up for a class or workshop, take a second to think if it is the right subject. Generally, we enjoy things we are good at already- so the tendency is to take more classes in that specific area. Figure out your “weakest link” and take a few classes to improve it. You will find that it makes a huge difference in your artistic future!


  1. David Ayres

    I am feeling right now like my weakest link is definitely in posing subjects. If people are self-starting and creative, the shoot tends to go really well. I feed off their creativity and vice-versa. But if a person/persons are nervous, uncomfortable, or just not particularly creative, I sometimes have trouble coming up with ideas.

    I would love any suggestions that you have: books, stories, articles, etc. I definitely feel like this is hampering my ability to move forward.


    • remote

      Two things come to mind..
      First off, sometimes it helps to practice posing with friends or family as your subjects. That way, you take away the nervous/uncomfortable part and just see what looks best in the camera.
      As for live sessions, sometimes it helps to just let them pose themselves, then you go in a fix posing issues – like hands, posture, etc. As painful as it can be, entering portraits in print competition is one of the best ways I know to get better at posing. When you have someone going over your poses with a fine-tooth comb, you tend to figure things out really quickly. At least, that’s how it was for me.

  2. You are so right though, finding a persons weakest link can be extremely difficult because its so hard to be subjective when looking at the way you do things. Perhaps sometimes i’s best to ask for another persons opinion? The only thing is you have to remember not to bit their head off if they give what you perceive to be a negative response.

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