As I take stock in my business and look around the industry assessing how to grow in 2019, I’m starting see more and more CGI products out there on the market. CGI is rapidly becoming an integral part of advertising photography in the automotive industry. Marketers and Creative Directors are hiring photographers who aren’t just photographers. They are hiring photographers who are agile enough to add value to projects using other tools like retouch and CGI. Workflows are changing and as an automotive photographer I feel it’s important to keep learning and growing in the right direction to continue to be relevant in the industry.

So what does this mean? 2017 was the year I decided to focus on diving into Photoshop and mastering my retouch workflow. 2018 was a year I started exploring and learning CGI. I researched the different software applications on the market.

I took a six month block of time and was intentional about setting time aside to learn and play with the software. At first, I thought I had solid results. I’d proudly post my work on different CGI group pages on my various social media channels. Those images would immediately get ripped by experts who’s been creating these types of assets for decades. I’d go back to the drawing board and take the ripping and try and grow from the input given to me be industry experts.

After several months - and acquiring very thick skin, I posted an image and fully expected to get ripped. I was ready to take my lumps. But something amazing happened. The same people who had been destroying me in comments began to change their tune. They started replying with positive remarks and constructive critiques.

I think with anything worth doing, it’s worth the time and effort to learn and master the workflow. I’m by now means an expert at CGI but I do think I’m at a point in the journey where I’m competitive.

I’m always looking to add to my product set. Like any other product offering, it’s needs to be scalable and repeatable. Many photographers get stuck only focusing on what they consider their go to product. I think it’s important to always evolving your product set. But to do that, you’ve got to be ready to perform at the highest level and be comfortable providing expert knowledge when working with a Creative Director or client.