Monday, May 10, 2010

Shooting for the LOVE of shooting

I'm often talking about making money and shooting cost effectively.  While, today I want to tell you something different, and to offer some inspiration.  When people ask me where I learned photography, my answer is "in the bathroom."  I'm self taught, and a lot of my knowledge comes from photography magazines (which I happen to like reading when I go to the bathroom).  This may sound weird, but chances are that your weird too and just don't know it.

The most valuable lessons I've learned, could not have been taught to me by any person or reading material.  It came from EXPERIENCE.  Shoot every chance you get and never don't shoot because you feel the images won't be "salable".  Even if you don't sell any images, it's never a waste of time.  You learn new skills when shooting, and have great experiences.  And sometimes, you will be surprised to find that you created some of the best images of your life on a day that you had no plans to shoot.

Knowledge will only get you so far.  You must also have a passion, work hard at it, and focus on what you love to shoot.  I'm positive that I got to where I am today through this philosophy.  I shot every chance I had the last several years, and then I shot some more.  It didn't matter what the subject was, and to be honest, I was never worried if it would sell or not.  Creating an image that I loved, and sharing it with the athlete/model, or family and friends was enough.  I always aspired to become published in magazines, but I was confident that if I kept shooting what I loved, I would get there.  If you shoot what you love, and you keep working at it and mastering the art, you will become great at it and eventually land where you want in a photographic career.

I've taken jobs just for the money.  This is OK and sometimes necessary, but it can really warp the views of what you do and take some fun out of your career.  It can go the other way as well, maybe you will end up loving what you shoot, and get paid for it.  It's a tough call sometimes.

Over this winter I became a fair weather, only shooting to sell, type of photographer.  Sure I created some of my best images, and always loved when I was shooting.  However, I wish I had shot more!  All bad things eventually lead to good, and for me the good lied in an important discovery.  Instead of trying to only shoot projects that were either paying or would yield salable images, I've started again to shoot every opportunity I have and am a better, happier photographer for it.

So if your sitting at home right now, thinking about shooting but feel like it might be a waste of time due to lack of great subject matter, or "salability of images".  Get off your chair, and go do it!  Time spent doing what you love is never a waste.  Shoot for the LOVE of shooting and I guarantee your whole existence will benefit from it.

That's the BUZZ for Today!  Please check back soon for more.


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