Monday, July 4, 2011

What is this?

Everybody in the world has a blog, some are good, some are bad.  I wondered why I would have any interest in this, or why anybody would care, and the answer came to me after having a long conversation with a buddy who is going through some life struggles (divorce, loss of job) at the moment:   Nearly 100% of us are in a daily struggle to find what we want.

There are precious few of us who do exactly what we want to in life.  We grind through the day, constantly thinking of that other thing we want to do and how we might make it happen.  For me, that other thing is photography.   It started about three years ago and now it consumes me, I think about it non-stop.  Other than being a professional athlete, it is the one occupation I have ever truly envisioned  for myself.  I've had nice jobs, but none have ever been as fulfilling as photography is for me.   Although I haven't made the jump to being a full-time photographer,  I see that as the end goal.  Maybe it's foolish, who knows.  I'm a 40 year old guy with limited experience compared to many in the industry who still struggle to make a living doing it.  I'm talking about really good photographers, those who have worked as commercial photographers for 20 years and have many published photos and many connections in the industry.  I may be an idiot, but I know this:  Not taking photos is not an option.  Therefore, I will move forward a little each day.  I have no choice.

I won't discuss extremely technical aspects of photography, there are so many others who do that well and know so much more than me.   I will focus on the human element of photography.   After considering what I do well in this arena, I concluded that I have the ability to make a connection with my subject quickly and make them feel comfortable in front of the camera.   That's it, very simple.  Of course, I have spent many hours learning about the tools and lighting and how to use these tools to my advantage.  However, I can't talk for hours about equipment, nor do I want to, but I can talk about universal human subjects, so that's where I'll focus.  I hope you'll come along for the journey.  Maybe I'll make it, maybe I won't, but I'll take some nice photos along the way.

At the end of our conversation about what we want, my friend said one day he felt like he needed something new, a different challenge.  Many tried to get him to run a marathon, one of the ultimate human physical challenges, but he resisted it for a long time.   After a lot of contemplation and procrastination, he signed himself and his brother-in-law up for a marathon on a whim, knowing neither would back down after putting their name on it.  From that point forward, there could be no more procrastination, only training and struggling and fighting and clawing to make sure he did what he needed to do to finish, which of course he did.   Overcoming the mental hurdle and making one small step forward each day was the key, he told me afterward.

In a moment of pure philosophical brilliance, the last thing he said to me before hanging up the phone that day was this, "Travis, go sign up for your own marathon".

Here I go.....

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