Create: Things I Wish I Knew

I’ve been remiss at posting the films I’m sending to Advancing Your Photography on YouTube. I think if most people knew what my life was actually like they would shake their head in both bewilderment and perhaps even a dusting a pity. (I do NOT deserve pity unless you consider self-inflicted wounds.)

This morning at 3 AM I was online answering emails. I’m not happy or proud but it’s the truth. We had a little snag with a project and I needed to address it in real-time. I did eventually get back to sleep but now I sit here in a slight fog watching the snowfall. Even though I just turned fifty-one I still feel like I have SO much to learn and I feel like my life is a neverending parade of mistakes.

Thinking back to my early photography-hood I see a confused young man who thought he knew what he was doing. And there were people around him who thought he knew what he was doing. They gave him jobs, graded his work and pushed him forth into the world to battle those photographic battles he so desired.

But the truth is I wasn’t prepared or particularly intelligent about life itself. I was myopic and not in a good way. My life was about the rectangle. That’s it. I had yet to fire a single square image, so my life was framed almost entirely through my Leica M4-P and 28mm. Everything else in my life went away.

Athletics, the outdoor world, friends, family, everything. All I wanted to do was shoot then obsess over the details. What a waste. All these years later I’ve learned a thing or two and wish I could go back and educate my younger, wilder self. Reading, writing, speaking, taking chances and collaborating are all things I mostly dropped the ball on. Don’t do what I did. Do what I do, now.

This little film is about advice. A few things I consider to be daily essentials.

4 Comments on “Create: Things I Wish I Knew”

  1. Thanks for sharing, absolutely agree on the long form reading. Quotes and top 10 articles will only bring you so far, long form immerses you into author’s mind and that’s where’s the growth happens.

    I read mostly daily, I write but not daily I need to write more. I’m struggling to talk about my passion and my work, always has been a challenge for me, I’m working on that. Has I’ve realized last year, like you said, it’s everything around our images, our stories which makes the biggest difference in the end.

    And collaboration with others, is a challenge for me as well, but so true. I was talking with a local painter last Fall, she’s amazing and I love her work, but just talking about the creative process with her enriched my photography tenfold. That exchange of ideas which transcend all those technical discussions.

    Finally, still being somewhat new at photography I’ve set myself to learn more about the history of art, photography and everything around.

    1. Matheieu,

      I think writing about ANYTHING helps. Just go sit and observe something and try to write about it. Ya, most collaborations I do have zero to do with anything technical. And you are in luck, the history of photography…isn’t that long!

  2. Absolutely loving these videos. After following your from your Smogranch days I seem to have developed most of these habits over time. But after watching it it did dawn on me that despite starting a photography project on Hokkaido in 2018 it’s been years since I actually read a book on the place (photo books are an exception – Daido Moriyama and all that…) so I need to fix that.

    1. Sean,
      That is where I want to land first, Hokkaido. I would love to cycle around and hit the onsens. And make pics and slowly explore.

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