Friday, October 30, 2015

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Photographer?

 “For a photographer, the first 70 years are a bit difficult, but after that things get better.” Robert Doisneau

Let’s imagine a 24 year old amateur photographer, serious and passionate about what he’s doing. Each day he studies photography as much as possible. He reads books and posts by pro, studies other photographers’ work for technique and ideas, and practice. But despite all of this effort he’s still not seeing the progress he wants.

Let’s imagine a successful university lecturer, with a wife and kids and a busy work schedule. But underneath all of that his real passion is photography. He had taken some lessons on photography, but now his camera is just gathering dust on the shelf.

Let’s imagine a guy who takes his camera on weekends for fun and takes photos of his family and friends, but deep down he knows he can do more with photography.

Surely you’ve met all of these photographers and many more just like them, and in each case all of them may ask the question: “Do I have what it takes to be a photographer?”

Am I studying the right technique? Have I the right gear? Can I – at my age, with my schedule, and my skill level – really take great photos?
Maybe these questions have popped up in your head too….
And your mind probably suggests the usual things: talent, photography theory, technique and gear. These are the things that most photographers are thinking about regarding a successful photographer. Let’s try to find an answer.

So you want to take photos, don’t you?
There are many reasons to shoot.
 For some people it’s a possibility to capture the beauty of nature. For others it’s a chance to have the photos of kids as often as possible. For some people it’s  the hustle of getting photo sessions and buying the latest gear. And for some it’s the fascination of the photographer’s lifestyle.
However, these reasons won’t get you to your photographic goals.

The crucial question you should ask yourself is this:
“If I put down my camera today and never took photos again, would I be able to sleep at night?”
If the answer is “no”, then you have the one thing necessary to pursue photography.
It’s the calling to photography that truly drives you to become a photographer. It’s your passion. You simply can’t live without it.
It’s what makes the photographer keep going and keep getting better.
And this is the force that will push you to get to the next level of your own photography.
 “To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there is no guarantee that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters.” Harry Callahan
Learning photography isn’t easy…
On your journey as a photographer you’ll get frustrated. But remember that we all can be involved in frustration, whether we like it or not.
 “The photographer is filled with doubt. Nothing will soothe him.” Raymond Depardon
Being a photographer doesn’t mean you have to make your living through photography.
And it doesn’t mean that you have spent every hour of every day practicing.
It means that photography is an essential part of your life and that you’re willing to put in the work to achieve your goals.
Anyone can say practice your technique, learn the theory, and find a teacher…
But becoming a photographer involves much more than the technique that you practice, or the gear you buy.
It starts inside of you. A skill that you’re always working on improving, a goal that you can achieve if you put in the work…
So ask yourself one more time: Do you have what it takes to be a photographer?
“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” Imogen Cunningham
You’ll need to keep improving and learning despite your frustration.  Keep going!

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned!