Passion & drive
Here's a rhetorical question. How much do you want it?
In a world that easily speaks online of passion what does that actually mean to you? I mean how much does it really mean?
A budding photographer contacted me last week, lovely message how much they admired my work, my outlook and drive blah de blah. I offered them an opportunity to tag along at a wedding, no expectation on them to perform, no 'charge for mentoring', simply an opportunity to learn - their response? "That's a bit far away from me but I'd love it if you would let me now if you've anything a bit closer to home" - see you later, you'll never hear from me again. I didn't even bother responding to that message. To me that stinks of "I want to take the easy route" #cbf
When I started out I messaged every photographer I looked up to, offering to do anything just for the opportunity to see how they worked, jees I'd have polished their shoes and travelled any distance to do it. Most didn't even reply to my messages, everyone else who did simply added me to a mailing list so I could pay to go on their training courses.
Drive, hunger, determination when you're starting off - they're important, more than important. Certainly in a world where people are looking for an easy 'in', a shortcut or somehow think owning a camera and setting up a "I'm a photographer facebook page" makes them a wedding photographer.
For every 100 people like that there's a few examples of people who actually want to graft, make the effort and be a success, and they're the people who will be successful :
Shaun Carr came to Italy with me, funded by himself, no complaints just a pure drive to improve and grasp an opportunity
Karl Chester shot a bunch of weddings with me, happy to travel anywhere with no complaints.
Both of them, driven, determined, wanted to be successful and I've a huge amount of respect for both of them, they're now excellent photographers in their own right - both have put the graft in, both have drive and determination - full props to them and I happily recommend them to couples because they deserve it.
So my question I guess is, how much do you want it? While you're looking for the 'easy' there's people like me, like Shaun and Karl grafting away, people who've got that desire and passion. People who are still awake at 3am in the morning, learning, practicing, writing posts like this (like I am).
If you want it, if you really want it you've gotta work harder than the person next to you. Otherwise, while you're sleeping, watching tv, wasting time - we're at it, thinking photography, improving ourselves, out shooting every day, honing our skills and grinding away. I can't remember the last time I went to bed before 1am - if I've not got my head in a book or honing my skills I'm watching something photography or art related.
Yeah I might be completely blasé about the whole photography thing, how I approach weddings and appear to be completely relaxed about the whole thing but you know what, that's because outside of actually shooting a wedding I'm grafting my arse off, I'm putting the hours in that no-one ever sees and that allows me the luxury of being relaxed come 'game time', it's all in the preparation.
Natural ability gets you so far but nothing replaces good old fashioned hard work. There's an old saying when I taught martial arts - "Train hard, fight easy" same applies to everything.
anyway it's 3.30am now and I'm really knackered, goodnight !