I was having an very interesting conversation with a photographer several days ago and something he said has continued to ring in my ears. He said, ” I see so much good work, I just wonder why bother, I will never be that good!” I know how he feels, but I’ve got and answer to “why bother!” First let me set the stage by saying that he is certainly right about the wealth of great work today. I have favorite photographers just like everyone else, let me share the work of some of my “photographic” heroes and then let me continue this train of thought.
You’ve just been exposed to the work of five photographers whose work I love and try to emulate. Will I ever be as good as any of them at these kinds of work? Truthfully, that is not the relevant question. The relevant question is, “am I enjoying working hard to get better?” If your hobby or passion makes you miserable, stop doing it, pick a new hobby! Let me share five ways to get better at photography and enjoy it more in the process!
(1.) Remember this is a journey, not a destination. Instead of worrying about how good others are, think about what you can learn from them and how you can work to improve your own images. Take full advantage of the people, places and conditions you can enjoy. Soak in the joy of just holding a camera in your hand, and attempting capturing all the beauty God has made!
(2.) Celebrate the success of others. It does not make you any better to down grade them or their work.. Nothing kills creativity and vision worse than being blinded by envy for what others have accomplished. True joy is when you appreciate what others have done, and aspire to do so well yourself! Be thankful for those that inspire you. In all honesty, they have probably earned it with hard work, are you following that example?
(3.) Find your passion and then work it. If you love flowers, shoot flowers, if you love airplanes, photograph airplanes! You will never find real photographic succes trying to photograph things that simply do not interest you. An understanding of your subject will open your eyes to see much more deeply, and find the most creative ways to capture your subjects.
(4.) Don’t be afraid to experiment! The great advantage to the digital age is we can shoot, look at what we’ve captured, and still have the chance to try it again in a different way, all while standing right in front of the subject! That’s a luxury we never had with film. We learn by trying, observing, and trying again. Keep working the scene! There are no short cuts to experience!
(5.) Have fun! I’ve reached and age that if it’s not fun, I’m not all that interested in it! The love of photography should be a time of great joy for you. The people and places, the experiences, and the joy of learning should make you happy, if it doesn’t, maybe this is not the hobby for you.
I’m celebrating my 44th year of being a working photographer, and at this point in my life, I have only one photographic goal; “to be better tomorrow than I am today, and love every minute of the journey!” If I can do that it won’t matter how many great photographers there are in the world!
P.S. Did you notice how many times I used the word “work”, that might be a tip!
This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 at 1:30 pm
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