This story has been around for 80-100 years and has been re-told in various forms. The author is unknown.
The Engine Mechanic
A giant ship engine failed. The ship's owners hired one expert after another, but none of them could figure out how to fix the engine. The owners were losing money every day as their ship sat idle.
Eventually, they brought in an old timer who had been fixing ships since he was a young man. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived he immediately went to work, inspecting the engine from top to bottom.
After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag, pulled out a hammer and reached down and tapped on a small place on the engine. Instantly, the engine sprang back to life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!
A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand
"What?!" the owners exclaimed. "He hardly did anything!"
So they wrote the old man a note saying, "Please send us an itemized bill."
The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with hammer....................... $ 2.00
Knowing where to tap.......................... $ 9,998.00
The moral of the story is that, while effort is important, having the experience to know where to put that effort makes all the difference.
I'm not sure what the correlation is from an engine mechanic to a commercial photographer, but the lesson in experience definitely translates. I've been shooting photos and getting paid for it since I was 14 years old. That doesn't necessarily make me good photographer, but it does make me an experienced photographer. I've photographed tens of thousands of people over the years and I've clicked that shutter button on my camera hundreds of thousands of times. What does this mean? Well, if you're a client you can rest assured that I can adapt to a change in your schedule, help calm that nervous subject, and get rid of that cloudy sky in Photoshop. If gear fails, I have a backup - for almost everything. No, I don't carry a hammer in my camera bag, but I like to think I do know where to tap.