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

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

I think so. And I did something about it. This last year, I said no to 80% of the speaking engagements I was offered and 90% of the workshops I was asked to teach. I stopped trying to be part of every social network under the sun. I stopped reading ANY photo-related comments on web sites (usually they are just trolls complaining or link-baiting.) I stopped reading 90% of the photo-related information I used to read online and stuck to tried and true sources. I stopped reading all but two photo-related print magazines. With very rare exceptions, I stopped going to camera club meetings (or leading them.) In other words, I stopped screwing around and I went out and shot pictures.

I left my cell phone at home. I left my voicemail on. I stopped checking e-mail every 10 minutes and I spent months shooting. Some of it for work, and some of it just for me. Some of it I shared, and some I will never share. I involved myself in personal projects. I fired all the clients that are too cheap to pay me what I am worth and started ignoring those who were too demanding (given their limited budgets.) I started only accepting work I enjoy. I stopped dealing with advertising agencies (with only two exceptions.) I stopped going places I didn’t want to go to make photographs I don’t care about. And you know what happened? I made good money and had more fun and despite my advanced age, I think my photography got better.

I decided that if I was going to do something, it would involve me picking up my camera and shooting what inspired ME. Period. I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way. In removing myself from so many circles, I probably cost myself some business and some sponsorships. Maybe some of the cool kids ended up getting those gigs instead of me. I don’t care. I did what I needed to do and I revitalized my love for photography. It made me a better photographer. It made me happier. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Too many photographers get caught up in too much bull crap. They make excuses. They put things off. It’s time to pick up the camera and just shoot dammit.

Shoot.

Shoot some more.

Take one picture after the other like you would walk one foot in front of the other.

Start a personal photo project and FINISH IT! Before you start the next thing.

Start involving yourself in photography that moves you.

If your photos don’t come out the way you want, fix them. Shoot them again. Work on them in post. Reset if necessary but keep moving – one frame in front of the other.

Have fun. Photography is SUPPOSED to be fun.

Pity and laugh at the trolls. They have no power over you unless you grant it. Shoot while they talk. Make photos while they complain. Protect memories while they whine. You’ll win in the end.

Believe in yourself, photography and its power to change the world.

Anoint yourself a high priest of memory protection.

And if you can’t do all or any of the things on this list…….At least get off the couch.

Happy shooting.

______

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Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. So very inspiring, and so very true! I’m a big supporter of doing what you love, whether it’s in photography or any aspect of life. If you aren’t enjoying it, is it really worth it?

    Reply
  2. Thank you for writing this post. Great advice. Its so hard living this way, but so worth the effort it takes.

    Reply
  3. I’m guilty of this. Always on the social networks and reading more than shooting. Thanks for posting and giving me that swift kick in the butt I need to shoot more!

    Reply
  4. Amen brother.

    Headed out to shoot some more.

    Reply
  5. Thank you for saying this! It is so right on ALL levels. Off to shoot!

    Reply
  6. So RIGHT! Thanks for reminding me…..

    Reply
  7. Scott – You are my guru!

    Monte Sula

    Reply
  8. Someone needed to say it! Good for you, I enjoy your photos very much btw.

    Reply
  9. Very nice post!!! So true, indeed.

    Reply
  10. Best post I’ve read in quite some while now! True and inspiring, thank you!

    Reply

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