I started photography back in 2017 and trust me, I was a mess.
It all began when a buddy of mine who was a professional photographer told me that I had the eye for photography and I should give it a shot.
I got myself a compact camera, the Canon G7x mark 2 and started shooting anything and everything.
I would spend 6 to 10 hours a day editing the crap out of my photos, comparing them with the biggest photographers and I would always fall, into a depressed state. My social media engagements were poor, the likes on my photos were poor and I was devastated. I deleted all of my pictures on Instagram countless number of times and reuploaded everything with a new set of colours or edits, rinse and repeat. Nothing worked.
It was only during the beginning of 2019 when I finally realised that everything I did was wrong, I was after the wrong subject; money and fame.
Yes, money is important and so is your passion-driven talents. Because without passion, when it comes to your artistic values, everything falls apart. I realised that when one is too engrossed in making money out of his craft, the core values of his or her creativity is widely missed out, tremendously. You begin to create what you think others want, what you think might get you that big bag of cash and therefore, you slowly moved towards creating something that you never signed up for. You will then lose the one thing that got you passionate about why you do what you do in the first place.
For instance, if you are a street photographer by passion but you decided to venture into weddings because that is where the big bucks are, you tend to miss out on a lot of things. Firstly, you will become a button smasher. Secondly, you will create really weak photographs and finally, you will quit your job. I’ve been there and I’ve done that.
Venture into the paths that you like first. Practice your shots and create stories behind them. This way, you will definitely grow faster, your results will bloom and people will start to notice your work. With this built up confidence and experience, slowly but surely, venture into the weaker areas with your signature stylistic approach.
By now, you will be ready to take on all sorts of projects because you have already found your voice and unique selling point. Put this into play and eventually, you will stand out from the rest. People will hire you for you, not anything else. People will appreciate your work. People will start to pay you.
Do it for yourself first, not anyone else.