What’s better, the question or the answer?

From the blog of Brooke Shaden (http://shadenproductions.com/blog/2013/01/21/10-pieces-of-advice-for-upcoming-photographers)

Someone once asked me if I had all the answers… I didn’t even know the questions, answers seemed ambitious… so people help provide answers, that gives me the questions, I like questions more than answers, questions are never wrong! Anyway back to Brooke…

1. Believe that your art is worth the time to perfect. Too many people get intimidated by other photographers, feel too frustrated with the technology, or feel upset when they can’t come up with a masterpiece idea. Remember that everyone has been there at some point or another, and that it is a cycle. If you are not feeling intimated, you are not growing. If you do not push yourself, you can never learn. We all start somewhere, and where you are starting is the perfect place to grow into the artist of your dreams. You are not alone in wondering where your art will take you. Just remember that it is worth the time you put into it. Everyone starts somewhere.

I agree, applies to everything, but OMG I can get intimidated, sometime by myself (a touch of Narcissism sneaks in every now and then and gets beaten down, is that good or bad?)

2. Strive for perfection, but never reach it. If you feel that you have reached perfection, you will never grow past your current skill-set, whether it be conceptually or technically. There is always something new to learn. There is always room to grow. Never stop reaching.

Kinda agree here, however, sometimes it’s good to take the foot off the gas and remember what you did this for, take some of the pressure off your ego and just enjoy the moment… just for a little bit, every ego needs a break! Learning, Growing and Reaching will still be there!

3. Understand that there is not one road to success. Even the photographers that you look up to had to go around twists and turns and bends to get to where they are, and even those photographers feel like they are still climbing uphill to reach their goals. Your success is relative.

There is no one road to anything or if there is it was laid by drunk road builders… besides what’s more important a journey or the destination… is there a destination? Success isn’t relative, not to me, it’s something you feel inside… I think you need to feel it rather than be given it, am I right?

4. Write down what you want to achieve and then try to achieve it. Having goals and dreams will set you on a road that is made for you. Don’t be afraid to dream, and dream big.

I agree here but to many people forget to mention the beating up you give yourself if you don’t get the dream… going back to point 3 for the rest of this.

5. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t know what you want yet. Experiment. Try new things. Learn different skills. Most importantly, ask yourself what makes you happy. What do you love to shoot? Start making lists that detail all of the words that define the type of photographs you enjoy taking. Teach yourself to learn.

Oh, this is important, it took the death of my wife and child to realise that I should have been doing something else in life to feed my soul! Even in photography, we need to jump genres to realise who we are but that refers back to point 3, only you can say I’m a success. I haven’t accepted any success as of yet, do I believe in myself? Do I need to believe in myself? How long can I accept others accolades, genuine or well intentioned, before I feel a success?

6. There is never enough praise, and there are always too many insults. Try not to get into this mindset, though it is an easy trap to fall into. There will be people who like your photography and those who don’t. Learn that all input is valid, aside from malicious intentions. Remember that if you share your work, you invite those comments, the good and the bad. The good is no more valuable than the bad. It will all help you grow. Listening too much to the praise will stop your growth, and listening to much to the negativity will do the same. Listen only to your inner voice for guidance.

The first part of this makes sense, there are people who just hate or feel judgmental, you need to weed out the arseholes from those giving honest critiques, which means you need to listen to arseholes and judge… Listen to my inner voice? I need to trust my inner voice first, it’s all wrapped up in a blanket of delusion!

7. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that luck has anything to do with success. You have to work hard to get what you want, and it will be worth it in the end.

What is success? Until I know what it is I can’t feel successful… That means I need to set some goals on this journey! Also, not being successful doesn’t mean unsuccessful, I need to work back and define those moments I know were unsuccessful, not just in photography.

8. Figure out what motivates you and become aware of what inspires you. These are two of the key ingredients to success: motivation and inspiration. If you can stay inspired, you can continue to create and grow. If you can find motivation, you can put that inspiration into practice. Everyone finds inspiration and motivation in different ways. Figure out what your process is and quantify it, let it be something that is strategic. Figure out exercises you can do to find inspiration, or put in place a reward system for motivation. This will help you tremendously in case the extreme ecstasy of beginning photography wears off.

Sound advice, What motivates me? Inspiration comes from a multitude of sources but doesn’t always get me motivated, why?

9. Never compare yourself to anyone else. Do not worry about the “competition”. Be your own critic and your own praise. Create what you love, not what someone else loves. The opinion that matters most is your own.

Yeah, eh No! I will compare myself, it’s more the who do I compare myself with! Being your own critic can get you to hate yourself, but that’s why I’m on this journey… who am I?

10. Be confident. If you exude confidence, other people will believe in you and your art too. It will get you farther than most other things in life. Confidence is contagious.

I exude confidence and people do believe in me… what I need to do is believe in myself! Confidence is contagious? Not seeing this but I would love it to be true.

Looks like I have a lot of questions from this, and that is good, now the next question is how do I get answers to them?

Journey on!


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