Every photographer gather’s inspiration from somewhere, someone or something. It can even be found in movies. You can get it from the most famous photographers in the world all the way down to those just starting out. But copying someone’s work is just not cool. As a photographer you are an artist, so you see what you like about a photo, you tweak it and use it in your own work.
So what (or who) inspired or inspires me. Ok so the ‘biggest’ names of inspiration for me are Scott Kelby, Joe McNally and Aaron Nace (Phlearn). That’s not to say my inspiration is limited to these 3 people. But what they have bought and done to Photography as a whole is simply inspiring. Scott Kelby’s Digital Master Class was the first set of books I read. Alongside with Bryan Peterson’s brilliant book titled “Understanding Exposure”. Anyone starting out in the world of Photography, wanting to give it a serious go you cannot go wrong with these books.
It then quickly expanded to reading Scott’s other books, you see Scott has the direction in which I currently am taking my Photography – Portraiture. So whilst he’s beneficial for me, Landscape shooters for example may not be so inspired.
From Scott’s books it lead on to Joe McNally’s book’s and “Hot Shoe Diaries” is quite simply a must read.
Then I discovered Phlearn.com and was simply amazed, Aaron Nace not only delivers expert tutorials in a well-constructed and easy to follow manner he also makes it funny along the way.
I’m not what you would call a natural/ambient light shooter. I mean, sure, yes I’ll shoot in ambient only, but there’s something more appealing about being in total control of the light, after all, as a photographer that is the equivalent to the artists brush. So why would you limit yourself to one brush? (The Sun)… you’re simply crippling your artistic potential.
My Journey (so far) has been a short one but my inspiration grows every day. There are so many wonderful and creative photographers out there that are always brining fresh ideas to my mind and the field of Photography In general.
So, why the site and why the Blog? – do I anticipate this to be read by hundreds or even thousands of people? Not at all. In fact, if no one was to ever read this then it is what it is. I do this for myself; it’s a hobby that I have a lot of passion for. Sure I’d love to be on someone’s “Inspiration” list one day but I don’t do it for that. I work a 9 – 5 Office job Monday to Friday and when I’m not working I’m thinking of ‘shooting’ (sometimes I’m doing both). But I like to keep it as controlled as possible and not let it take over, which I admit isn’t always the case. There’s a time and place to be behind the lens and there’s a time and place where what’s happening in front of the lens is far more important. Sometimes it’s better to just down the camera. It’s not always easy. For me, I’m capturing memories. Memories that 50+ years from now can be looked back on.
It all started when my Daughter was born. I’ve always had an interest in Photography but it never really took off. I was a point and click kind of person. Not really understanding what the camera was doing, shooting in auto and that was that. It was her that sparked my passion. Life’s short and when I’m gone I want to leave something. I want to leave my mark. A good photo will stand the test of time. 100 years from now I want a voice to say… “Yeah, my Great-Grandad took that”.
As a photographer you should be doing it for yourself, not for “likes” or “hits” and not to completely change your image because someone on the internet gave you “critique”. The important thing is thatyou like what you produce. Surround yourself in people who love your work and you will grow. Stick with that one person who tells you your photos are great and you will grow. Most of all, have fun, earn money if you want to, but never let the enjoyment factor disappear. It’s the sole reason you got into Photography in the first place.
I read so many inspiring stories and little snippets online that really keep me going. I read a blog recently about a Photographer’s vision. He was working hard putting his portfolio together and submitted it to be judged. The Judge took one brief look at the portfolio and passed it back and said “It looks like your trying to be Ansel Adams”. “Yes” the Photographer replied, “He’s my inspiration”.
The Judge then replied with one of the best pieces of information I’ve read…
“Ansel Adams did ‘Ansel Adams’ and you’re not going to do ‘Ansel Adams’ any better than he did”
The Photographer thought for a second and realised, does he really want to be remembered as the best Ansel Adams impersonator. The answer was “no”.
It’s ok to draw on others for inspiration, it keeps your photography live and fresh but remember they’re your images, no body else’s.
I mentioned earlier that you can get your inspiration from anywhere and it doesn’t have to be photography related. On that note, my Dad is a huge inspiration for me. You see, my Dad is into his Scuba Diving and what started off as a hobbie now see’s my dad recognised Regionally and Nationally for his Qualifications and fingers crossed by the end of the year he may even be NDO (National Dive Officer) – to everyday folk, thats top chief. It doesn’t get higher than that!
My Dad has a drive for his hobbie that has seen him to success and a true lesson that you get out what you put in!
It was Jim Carrey who recently said “You can fail at what you hate to do, so why not try at what you love doing” … life changing!