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Being A Photographer What Does It Take? - part 3 of 1 2 3 4

by Richard P Walton Published 01/08/2012

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Richy's shot on the Gumball 3000 rally across the USA recently, this article proves he made it home, the full story will have to wait, but seems worth telling! We're not sure how the guy on the opening spread got on, it's a long way down to the bottom of Grand Canyon.

We all have the ability to create original images. There is no moment the same in this life and it would be impossible to recreate another photographer's image perfectly and the closer you do get the more of a rip-off it will obviously look.

Try to find the artist within yourself, I think that's the point I'm trying to make here.

5. Getting a style

I looked for a style for years, I was worried that my work didn't have it's own appeal and wasn't unique enough. The fact is that whilst I was trying to get a style I wasn't concentrating on learning the basic technical aspects of photography. After all a carpenter can't craft a beautiful piece of furniture if he doesn't know how to use a saw. It's important to understand that a style will develop, it will come to you when you are ready. Going back to martial artists, they will first learn the fundamentals, then they will learn to perfect these methods so that they become second nature - then they can start finally doing their own version.

I was trying to run before I could walk, I hadn't learned the fundamentals properly. I realised that I should try to perfect my photographs first; my own personal style could only develop by doing this. I had to be a good photographer technically before I could ever have a style and create my own visions. I had to stop trying too hard for a style. It's like if somebody tells you to 'act natural'- as soon as you try you feel awkward.

I see a lot of photographers trying to have style but really they are just copying the greats and haven't learnt the fundamentals that these greats spent years and years learning and then perfecting.

Standard, but well done, traditional photography is the key to any successful photography business and now I understand this I feel comfortable with my ongoing developing style.

Style is something that comes when your mind and hands work in unison effortlessly, when you realise that your mind is unique it will start to show in your work.

6. Progression

The point when a photographer starts to become cocky and feel that he/she thinks they are great is generally the time they stop progressing and their photography hits a wall. It's clear to see that the most successful photographers in the world are some of the humblest and the guys who think they are, are generally arrogant idiots. Being humble and putting in hard work is worth more than anything in the world. There is always going to be someone better than you and there is always going to be someone worse than you.


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Being grateful for what you have is very important too. I hope I never get to a point where I am 100% happy with my work and think I am something special.

Imagine a glass full of knowledge, how full would yours be? Mine is practically empty, I have so much to learn and feel I'm only at the very beginning of what I want to achieve. So many photographers walk around with their glass full.

7. Don't be a money chaser

I haven't become rich from taking photographs, however, the lifestyle and experiences I have had over the 10-year journey have been worth way more than any amount of money.

Money is bits of paper, and the sooner I realised that, the sooner I started enjoying photography properly and living a healthy, fun life. Making a living from photography is no different to working for somebody else, you start at the bottom and work your way up the ladder in the hope of eventually becoming the boss. It might not happen over night and plenty of people will tell you that this industry is screwed and there is no future in photography for anyone. The fact of the matter is that it can and will happen as long you do things your way and forget listening to everyone else in the industry.


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1st Published 01/08/2012
last update 06/11/2019 11:08:42

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