At the time of writing this blog, I am currently enduring one of, if not the hardest times in my not-so-short life. Personal issues have plagued my year thus far and to be completely honest, they haven't been great for three odd years. When I consider in that time I have gotten married, started a new career and had many an exciting and new experiences, it annoys me that I have to evaluate that time as being pretty terrible. After the devastating loss of my mother-in-law in June, my wife and I suffered another horrible loss last week. Life certainly knows where to find us at the moment! Despite this, I still keep trying to persevere as a photographer and I am always burying myself in inspirational photographic work. Searching in magazines and online for kindling for my passion.
Over the past two years, I have tutored just over 200 photographers. And something that has been becoming more and more apparent as I progress as a teacher is the complete lack of passion in some photographers. Not all, but small minority of those who have chosen life behind a lens. Now these guys may not be looking to become professional or make money from their camera but there is an almost complacent nature to them that I can only describe as being 'too cool to try'.
They pay vast fortunes on equipment, studios/locations, models, more equipment, more models, more locations/studios and yet even more equipment. They spend massive spans of time online researching and discussing photography and at studio-days, workshops yet when I try and gauge where they want to go with photography, the answer is "meh" or "I don't want to go professional". Well, okay, but where DO you want to go with it?
Here's the truth behind this mentality;
You are scared to admit you are trying at something as you don't want the feeling of failure if things don't work out! Problem is, everyone fails, but you are only a failure if you let that fall define you. If you refuse to get up and use the annoyance and negative feelings motivate you to get back to it and achieve what you set out for!
I think there are two kinds of people in the creative industries. People who use failure as a catalyst to move forward and those who are too 'cool' to succeed!
If you want to become a better photographer, shoot for agencies, shoot for publication, shoot for copious amounts of cash, it doesn't matter if your goals aren't to someone else's taste! Fuck that guy! Its your life and your the boss. If you let someone else's opinion on something they aren't involved in deter you, well you're just too cool to succeed! I have had so many negative comments about what I have done/want to do, and I understand the feeling of annoyance and the aversion to proceeding it creates. But the truth is that there are so many motivations for people to put you down and not one of them is relevant! Being intimidated and the fear of failure exists in everyone, just some use it as fuel for the fire and others use it to create excuses!
Remove your fear/ego, define your goals, break them down into manageable pieces and run at them full speed!
Or just stay being too 'cool' to succeed!