I was thinking the other day, I have learned so much from the first time I picked up my camera to now. I have made so many mistakes and I’m sure I will continue to make mistakes and I will continue to learn from them and become a better photographer from them. Here is a list of things that I wish someone had told me from the beginning.
I wanted to compile a list of my thoughts and “failures”, for lack of a better word, but I wanted to keep it more general. For all creatives alike! So I am talking about photography in my life, but these can absolutely be applied for anything creative that you enjoy.
A wise man (my dad) once told me that in anything creative, there will always be people who live their lives solely to make you feel bad about what you’re doing, because they can’t do it themselves. There will always be someone you look up to and hope to be like in a few years, likewise, there will always be someone who thinks the same about you. So keep growing and challenging yourself and it will happen! We are all creative- It’s just takes some time to remember how to use it.
6 things I wish I would have been told when I began photography:
1. Be yourself.
There is a fine line between being inspired by a persons art and duplicating someones art. It’s easy to do, and it’s done so much! I do understand that there are no new ideas. It’s like that with any creative world. Music is all borrowed–>revised–>released, art is the same way. Just remember to know your story and you will put your fingerprint on all you create!
2. Listen to others, but don’t let them rule you.
The public can be such a great encouragement when you post your work online. We have all seen it before: you spend hours working on a piece then you post it online. Almost immediately you have so many likes and comments on how beautiful and magical what you created is, but then that one person has something to say that may not be as positive and it ruins your whole outlook on life in that very moment. Don’t let this happen by loving everything you put out into the world before anybody has a chance to do anything but love it as well.
3. Don’t spend too much time looking at other peoples work. Let yourself be inspired.
This goes along with number 1. Being yourself sounds a whole lot easier than it actually is. I think we have all had our moments of loving someones work so much that it gets to that point where you want to be them and create the same work they are creating. I know we all have that person that we look up to and learn from. For me, and so many other people around the world, this person is Brooke Shaden. I watch all of her videos, I schedule time out on my calender when she is on CreativeLive or doing other interviews, I have seen every one of her photos on flickr- many times, I have her books and follow her workshops (I wish I could afford to actually go to one!!). Around the beginning of my fine art journey I actually wanted to create the same work as her. I would study her photographs and I would look at every detail until I had it memorized! I don’t think this was healthy for me, personally. I love her work and I will continue following her for the rest of her career!! Though I came to a point when I realized she is a human. Just like me. She was “just starting out” once! She was once not as amazing as she is now. It took practice for her to become the person she is today and it inspires me, down to my core, to know that I can become “as good” as her one day. But I don’t want to be her. I want to be me.
4. Just because you’re one type of artist, doesn’t mean you can’t be another.
So many times in my creative life, I have wanted to venture off into some other creative industry, but I thought it wasn’t allowed because “I’m a photographer” and I can’t do anything but take photographs and that is all. This scared me because personally I am a very creative person. I love to write! I am absolutely no good at it! But I do it for me and no one else so it makes me happy! I am here to tell you that it is allowed! You can be as creative as you would like and if that means you take pictures, play music, write books, and paint then so be it! Show the world your creative heart, it will make you happy, and that will make others happy.
5. Learn as much as you can!
When I picked up my first camera I actually thought I knew it all. I was the photographer who wanted to do everything myself and I wouldn’t take anybody’s advice because I thought I had all the answers. Turns out, I didn’t. I think this subject is so important! As an artist, it feels natural to be extra sensitive when people give you advice or critique your work, but remember that they have been where you are and chances are, they only want to help you and see you succeed.
6. Make everyday an adventure- be inspired by the world around you!
This one is a big one for me, personally! I have a hard time finding inspiration while looking at the same scene I look at every day on my commute around the city, but lately I have tried to look at the world differently! I’ll give you an example! Spring is coming a little early this year! I am very afraid of bees and other flying bugs and I saw my first bee the other day while getting into my car. I did what I normally do when I see a flying creature- Ducked and ran into my car, slammed the door and locked it to be sure it can’t get me! Then after I did that I watched it for a minute. It was flying around my window and a thought came over me that this bug is one of the first of its kind out in the warm clean air. It has no intention of hurting me, it’s only doing what it was created to do. I found something so beautiful and poetic about this bee, it helped me to see the world in a different way that I would normally. I am making it a personal goal to search these moments out because those are the things that inspire me to create. Try it for yourself- it’s truly a warm feeling when you see the thing you’ve seen your entire life in a whole new light.
I have many thoughts that I would like to share, so I decided to split this blog into two different posts. Part two will be coming soon with some exciting news about what is happening with my work!
If you have anything that you wish you would have known before you began your creative journey, I would love to read about them! Leave your comments below and follow me by clicking the links below.