[This was a segment in my newsletter today. My enthusiasm sometimes overpowers my typing and editing skills, so there were just a couple of typos in the e-mailed copy, which I've corrected here. Even if few others noticed, I did. Hopefully I've caught them all. I can't make any promises about the grammar. Please feel free to share this.]
Moving Forward with Your Photography: Helping Others Do the Same
I was thinking about the type of photographer who would read a newsletter like mine (my blog and FB posts, too). I think it's just human nature for me to assume most of the readers are like you and me; and that's probably true to some extent. I mean, we might not always succeed with our images, but we definitely love what we do. We have a willingness to learn and grow creatively, and an interest in offering the best we can to whomever we share our images with (including paying customers). I write for people like us.
But I've been in a bubble of goodness for so long, I started forgetting that all photographers are not the same. I'm not just talking about style, taste, approach, or subject matter. I'm talking about a fundamental difference in how some photographers actually view the quality of their work and their desire to grow. Some photographers, even many professionals, stopped learning and growing a long time ago. And this shows in their work. What's scary, is how many "pros" out there stopped the learning process even before it began! Let's agree to never be like those people.
As the new year approaches, I start thinking about things like this. The notions of moving forward, growing, improving, exploring, all come into play. I'm excited about what's to come! I want to spread that excitement (that's how excited I am!).
So, yeah, one of my goals moving forward is to help inspire photographers to continue their education and explore their creativity. We're technicians AND artists so we need to do both. I'm kind of hoping you'll do this with me. I would like you to be a part of my efforts to help people (photographers) be their best. How? That's up to you and what you can do with your particular resources and personality. But it can start with some simple, positive encouragement, which I'm pretty sure you've got plenty of to go around!
There's a secret bonus to all of this. There's a huge benefit to encouraging people to move forward with their work: Your work will move forward, too! Try it. Surround yourself with positive professionals and serious amateurs who love what they do. Drop discussions with the doomsdayers who only want to talk about "the death of photography," and who think it's cool to use "tough love" as an excuse to tell aspiring photographers that they suck. Get away from those toxic, life- and time-sucking message boards, and take the other like-minded photographers with you (leave the rest behind). Be a mentor to an aspiring photographer, or just be a good force and presence in your favorite photographer on-line space. It will make a difference.
No, all photographers are not the same. Some of us are moving forward and we're going to help others move in that direction with us. It's going to be better for all of us. Age, gender, status, are not a factor. Everyone, in my opinion, has the ability and can make the choice to have a bigger and better relationship with their camera and the world around them. People like you and I are going to be a big part of that future. I've made that decision for myself, so I'm hoping you're right there with me.
If someone asks, tell 'em Ed Verosky sent you.
I'm going to just thank you right now, in advance. You rock.
Yes! I'm definitely excited!