With the channel growing and more people interacting in the community I wanted to share a question/comment someone had sent me.
Hey Chris, I have a question. I have been taking pictures for years and keep learning everyday and appreciate your video’s. I feel as if I am not getting the quality of photographs I feel I should be producing. I would think by now that I should be really good but I just feel stuck and have lack of drive to continue. I see your work and you have said you started off many years ago but I feel as if I am not even close to your level. I enjoy the Corel PSP video’s and they have helped me learn a lot. Do you have any thoughts or advice? Thanks again for all you do, it is great to see someone helping out people learn and doing it in such a positive and informative way. Thanks again. David.
That is a really interesting question David. I had the same exact questions and feelings you do and guess what?… I still do.
- The feeling of reaching some photographic plateau where you create amazing images all the time does not exist. We all (as photographers or artists) continue to strive to get better and always doubt ourselves. We all look at other artists/photographers work and think to ourselves “wow, I want to reach that level” or “I am never going to reach that level of skill”. These feelings never go away. Sorry to burst the hope bubble. 😉 I have several photographers I admire and look at their work and say to myself “WHY CAN’T I DO THAT!!”.. lol. I look at it this way. Having that thought process will always make you try a little bit harder, do something a little bit different, get a little bit more creative and so on. There are many photographers I admire but two of them stick out in my mind. One of the photographers I can only hope to develop his creative eye is Benjamin Vong Wong (vonwong.smugmug.com/). I also really enjoy Brook Shaden’s (brookeshaden.com/gallery/) work and her creative style. I admire their work and let myself be inspired by their work instead of comparing their work to my own. It is healthy to look at others work and feel inspired but do not get discouraged. We are always learning and always growing no matter what we are doing.
I never would have thought anyone would have found my work inspirational or felt that I was at higher level then they were. I look at it as I am always at the same level it is just I know keep coming up with more random idea’s then I did before.
- Don’t ever look at your own or someone else’s photograph and think “I should be at this level”. Everyone is different in the learning process and the creative process. Let yourself stop and take a step back and remember that you enjoyed it and still do. Let yourself embrace that feeling. Do not feel bogged down. I do it for part of my living and I sometimes feel bogged down and uninterested in it. This happens to everyone, but I then give myself a day away to do what I want to with my photographic work. I will sit at a lake for hours sometimes during the summer and just take pictures of birds or flowers. If you lose the fun and forget the reason why you started photography in the first place then you will become and feel less creative because you will be to busy worrying about not being creative instead of just letting the creative happen. 😉
- If any photographer ever tells you that they are at the final level of photography experience than laugh out loud and say “your funny”, because there is not such thing. There is no elite, the best, most amazing, numero uno or top dog photographer. There are just creative, passionate and artistic photographers who are constantly learning and growing in their craft and art. You can take one of the premiere photographers in the world and take a high school student just starting out and give them the same task. They will both come up with different view’s and images because there is no one way, or one infinite style or grand hupla of a way to photograph something. It is all in you. You are the creative mind behind the camera. You can get the basics down on how your camera works and understand how light is manipulated then you are good to go! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you are not up to par. Yes everyone is at a different level of skill but we all started and start from the same platform. Remember that. 🙂
I hope that answers that question. I wanted to share that with everyone because it is really something I am passionate about. I was told by several people I would fail, I should give up and so on. If you have a passion for it and love to do it, then continue doing it no matter what it is. Do not do it to reach a particular level of success do it to reach a personal level of joy, happiness and creativity. Thanks, Chris.