Many believe, because of the magical qualities inherent in photography, and the intrinsic ‘glamorousness’ in being called a photographer, that photography is a sublime, mysterious, noble, rare and sacred gift from the gods.
And some photographers have the erroneous belief that talent, photographic talent, is an innate, programmed in their DNA, born-with skill set.
A ‘gift’, so to speak.
B.S. I say…..greatness, talent, creative works, and just about all success’s are learned behaviors and skills so to speak.
It doesn’t come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades.
Whether you believe in what I’m saying or not matters not. The good news is, you can grow your skills (talents) through perseverance, hard work and practice.
Simple….follow the opportunities and bring your passion with you.
If anyone tries to discourage you and lead you into believing you must be born with ‘the gift’, don’t for a second listen to any of that utter nonsense.
Photography is a learned skill set. Just like playing music. You get better with time and practice.
This creates a load of confusion. To know better gives you an advantage.
Let me explain.
I see many photogs and aspiring photogs showing up at events and workshops to listen to their fave photog speak.
This is all fine and dandy, but if you have the wrong mindset, you won’t be maximizing the return on time and money invested when attending photographic workshops and seminars.
Instead, you’ll be mesmerized and in awe. The bigger the name, the bigger the awe level.
The big name marquis celeb speaker will leave you with a sense of amazement, maybe a tad more.
Instead of grabbing and cultivating as many legit strategies and principles that you can borrow and roll into your own photography and photography business, you’ll swim into the egotistically driven experience.
We tend to do this as humans and photographers, in my opinion, are extra vulnerable.
Notice I threw in the word “business” in there. That’s a hint in case you missed the big picture.
Sitting at the foot of the guru seems to be enough.
The alternative is, go for knowledge. Take notes. Grab ideas and make them your own.
Action, action, action wins out every time.
Grab inspirations that evolve in your mind, and when you get back to your studio, practice.
Yes, practice. Too many just think about this, or worse yet, wait until their next paid gig to practice whatever ideas and inspirations visit upon them.
And then they flop. Why?
Lack of practice.
It’s that simple and boils down to discipline.
Give me discipline over talent any day.
We’re no different, not better than any other creative discipline.
When a symphony musician has to learn a piece, they don’t show up at rehearsal never having practiced anything. They must study and practice until their fingers bleed.
Or pay hell with maestro.
With musicians, it’s obvious. You don’t know the piece, it sounds like crap.
In photography, many people/clients/photogs lack judgement or discernment and believe what they see is a great photograph.
Until they see something better, and get educated. Therein lies the opportunity to show your clients something better and educate them on quality.
Many photographers, unfortunately, are prey to their own weakness’s and egos.
And the BS shoveled by others.
They think they have enough because the got some gear, and a great logo. Herein lies the opportunity for you to know this, and rise above the cacophony and noise of traveling with the ego circus.
The more you lean on your laurels the more they will tend to become wreaths.
This field, in order to be successful is far more about self-discipline, passion and business.
Yes, you must suffer for your craft. This is not a new idea.
Musicians know it.
Anyone who has honed their “talents” to the point of creative mastery knows it.
There are no shortcuts.
Output looks easy to the outsider who looks in says naive statements like: “Oh, he/she is so creative. A natural!…”
Nonsense. There is no such thing as natural.
What you don’t see is the endless hours of hard work and dedication. That is the true source of talent.
Yes, yes, we can have a predisposition for certain skills. But unless we put ourselves into the right circumstances these remain latent.
The DNA in us never wakes up.
The key of course, is to put ourselves in those circumstances through discipline and focus.
Now get to it. And get good. Start with you.
Your passions, your vision, your drive….It’s why I push marketing, personal goals, ongoing mastermind meetings and an eye to self-development.
When you get courage, steadfastness in the face of adversity and hone in on YOUR marketing…..then, and only then will opportunities show up.
They don’t come looking for you unless and until you feed the beast.
Yours in photography and success,