Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons


“Come to the edge” he said,
“We can’t, we are afraid” they said…

“Come to the edge”
“We can’t, we will fall”
“Come to the edge”
and they came
and he pushed them
and they flew.
Guillaume Appollinaire

A friend of mine shared this with me recently. I know it’s not new to many of you, but even if you’ve read it before, it might remind you that sometimes you need to take a risk.

Starting a professional photography business is indeed risky. So is simply sharing your work as an amateur. But there’s also risk in doing nothing. So if you’re going to take a risk either way, why not take one that might just pay off big?

Perhaps you’ve already sharing or selling your photography, but you aren’t getting the traction you hoped for. The temptation at this point is to pull back. But in my experience, that’s the wrong move. The right move is to push forward.

In combat, you’re often told to “move up.” If you don’t, you become a sitting duck as they say. Moving up or forward in combat is very dangerous. You’re rushing toward the enemy – not away from them. They’re shooting at you after all. But if you just sit and hide they will eventually find you. Better to bring the fight to them and rely on your training, your buddies and your courage to bring a good outcome.

I know it’s hard to expose yourself in such a way that you will be open to criticism. But most of you reading this site have either made the decision to get serious about photography or you are at least seriously contemplating it. I wanted to offer the encouragement of someone who’s been through Hell and back and still survived. My career as a photographer is thriving – despite the tough past – despite my advanced age – despite poor health – despite the fact my hair is gray and my belly fat – despite the fact that I am NOT one of the cool kids. I’m thriving because I take chances. I move forward. I charge up the hill. It’s hard. It’s not safe. But it is the only real choice.

I read a book long ago called The Artist’s Way and I recommend that every single serious photographer read it. It contains a John Burroughs quote that I have never forgotten.

“Leap and the net will appear.”

I’ll see you on the way down.


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