Everyone Is Capable Of Making Photographs That Matter If…They can listen to their heart and avoid the trolls. In this world (which from my vantage point seems to be full of more hate, despair, snark and ugly people than ever.) Photography remains a shining light. Photography, when done from the heart, can make people laugh, cry, remember, act, react, change, plan, adapt and feel.

There are those among us who live bitter, unhappy lives. They can’t do these things. They can’t move people. They can’t even get attention unless they are shouting. These haters are jealous of any success you might have, because they themselves have always been worthless failures. They have the power to change. But they won’t.

So you should shun them. You should avoid and ignore them at all cost. You should block them out of your life in every way. Even if it’s your own family, these people will destroy you if you let them. Block them. Set their email addresses to spam. Don’t interact with them. Pretend they do not exist.

What would happen if you took the energy you use now to fend off, duel with, and argue with the cowardly trolls? I can tell you what would happen. Your life would change for the better. Your photography would change for the better. You would become a better, happier person and the world around you would improve. Talk about power!

You can make a difference, even in this polarized world we live in. You can make someone’s day by making their portrait and telling them they look nice. You can change someone’s life by giving them a wedding album – something that will become the first heirloom of a new beginning – a new family. You can leave photographs that live longer than you do because they move people to ask questions, to search, to seek.

You can do amazing things with a camera. You really can. You just need to know that you have that power – no matter who you are, where you live, what color your skin, what political party you support – YOU can make a difference You have that power – despite the emotionally crippled idiot who spams your social media stream. You have that power – despite the fact that the jealous fool in your camera club constantly berates you.

You have the power. It’s in you. It is you. It’s all around you. All you need to do is believe it and have one other person believe it too. I hereby volunteer to be that person. I volunteer to root for each and every one of you who’s been told you’re not good enough or that your work sucks. I am re-dedicating myself to pulling for the little guy (gal.) I am here to tell you that if I can do it, you can do it, because I am certainly the least among you.

I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of making photographs that move people. I know what that feels like. And I want you to know it to.

The next time someone tries to get in your way remember this. They are the one who is lonely and miserable and doomed to a failed life. They want to bring you down too so they aren’t lonely. You have the choice to leave them where they belong, and move on. Or you can be taken in by their hate, envy and jealousy. The choice is yours. I am here rooting for you to make the right choice. Do it now. Do it today. And to help you see the value of what I am talking about, watch the Kodak video at the top of this post. If that doesn’t convince you of the value of photography, nothing will.

Keep me – Protect me – Share Me – and I will live forever – that is the theme of this old Kodak spot. It’s more powerful than any negative influence in your life. Believe it. Remember it. Put it to good use. I’ll be in the bleachers clapping for you.

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