“Every artist was first an amateur” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
My photography journey has been interesting and challenging but for the most part it has been fun and I’m discovering and learning new things all the time. As a result of this experience I would like to share a few things here in the hope that they’ll help others as they helped me.
1. Work with a coach or mentor
When you are working towards a goal or something that you’d like to achieve in life and you don’t feel that you’re making much progress, find a good coach! My coach, Rita Hamill and I started working together back in February. I realised that working with her has a profound effect on what I’m trying to accomplish. I know that I have someone who stands in my corner who believes in me while providing support and encouragement. She is also my accountability partner. I can’t emphasize enough how invaluable that is! Rita continues to help me to make that internal shift and to gain my self-confidence, which in turn allows me to operate from a whole new level.
Rita, thank you.
2. Make time to create
There are tons of resources on the Internet about photography and it’s easy to spend a lot of time consuming these resources rather than actually being outside and making photos. However it’s important to remember that with photography the more you practice the craft the better you will get. I continue to consume different resources to help develop my photography skills and I have learned to be selective.
3. On being creative
Being a photographer or any other creative types often require your creative side to be ‘switched’ on all the time. For this reason I’m continually searching for things that inspire me. Inspiration does not need to be limited to works of other photographers but more and more I’m starting to use everything around me as a source of inspiration. Often the simplest things inspire me. I carry a notebook with me all the time and I use Evernote app heavily to record ideas and inspirations.
4. Just do it
I love this Nike slogan. When I started out in photography I can’t help but to think that I have to have everything figured out and have roadmaps for the future direction that I want to take. Well I was completely wrong! I have learned that it’s more important to make a small start, get the work out there as soon as I could, get feedback and then continue to improve and learn along the way. Being flexible and adjustable is definitely the way to go! Don’t get too hung up on getting everything to perfection. The most important thing is to make sure that you take that first step and just do it!
5. Attend photography events and network online and offline
Be it photography exhibitions, photography workshops or networking events I found these to be really helpful in finding out what’s out there and feed off ideas from others. It’s so easy these days to connect with photographers whose works you admire via Facebook, Twitter and Google + etc. Social media also provides an excellent platform to gain exposure for your work, exchange ideas and also to interact with prospective clients and those who appreciate your work.
6. Surround yourself with heroes
This goes with points 1 and 5 above. Being in an environment with people who support you helps you to propel and to accomplish great things in life. It’s certainly changed my self-belief from “I’m not sure if I could do that” to “what could be possible”. I love to surround myself with the works of people that I admire. I connect with other like-minded people such as artists, photographers, and entrepreneurs. It keeps me motivated and inspired at the same time.
7. Help and share
I love sharing my photography passion with others through my website and social media platforms but I am also keen to help others - that’s where this blog comes in.