Creative: A Few Things I’ve Learned

1. There is no time to wait. Whatever it is you are doing, do it now. Publishing, photography, projects, experimentations. You have people who talk and wait for the perfect moment, and you have others who just do. The doers become legends and the waiters turn to dust.
2. There is a big difference between an “influencer” and a “photographer.” You typically don’t get both. You can always jump from being a “photographer” to being an “influencer,” but most people can’t go the other way. When you see an “influencer” next to a “photographer,” the “influencer” tends to get exposed rather quickly. No pun intended.
3. Just stop with the social already. It’s embarrassing.
4. The term “scalability” just might put the final nail in the coffin of commercial photography.
5. I heard someone I respect say this. I’m paraphrasing. “When you look at Blurb, build your book around what the system has to offer instead of asking for something they don’t have.” (What I’ve been preaching about all publishing services.)
6. “You shouldn’t give two shits about what anyone says about your work.”You have to do it because you have something to say.” Frank Ockenfels III.
7. “There is no one process. Everyone is different.” “I go in and be me and that’s how I get what I get out of people.” Nigel Parry.
8. Straight photography projects are admirable, especially when done well, but they aren’t really what I’m looking for now.
9. Making unique work is incredibly difficult.
10. Slow down. Focus. Be patient. Keep learning. Fail. Live like your hair is on fire.

18 Comments on “Creative: A Few Things I’ve Learned”

  1. 1. 10-4
    2. huh?
    3. presume you mean social media…BIG 10-4
    4. huh?
    5. 10-4
    6. Big 10-4
    7. 10-4
    8. Define straight
    9. 10-4
    10. groovy

    1. Jim,

      2. Social media influencers are getting major traction based on following but most aren’t very good at actual photography. Many of the best photographers have little to no social following. They are busy making work.
      4. Scaleable means your audience will somehow, miraculously, become the client’s following. This is insanely lazy, midguided and is common practice in hiring photographers now.
      8. Just straight imagery with prints on wall.

  2. I’d rather fail in interesting ways than succeed in boring ones.

    I hang around with people I disagree with. A lot. They make me smarter, even when they’re wrong.

    Social media sucks and is terrible.

    1. AM,

      Luckily I’m never wrong, but I’ve heard of others who are. I try to find smart people, readers, thinkers, etc. And crazy people are fun too.

  3. Daniel, I love those Instax prints, great for journals, as shown. I’ve just started using Instagram, which seems civilised. Just a place to show photos to my follower (my mate in Canada). Influencers don’t visit my Instagram feed, so I’m safe. If you aren’t interested in straight projects (prints on the wall) I presume you are interested in printed media (books and zines)? Zines really interest me, I see them as a relaxed, unpretentious way of showing people my photographs and thoughts. All I need now is the courage to show my photographs and thoughts: it’s like baring one’s soul!
    I can see how Instagram can become addictive; you post a photograph and a ‘Like’ pings up within a few seconds! A photograph that you rate gets hardly any interest, while a so-so photograph reaches the heady heights of 15 likes!

    1. Mike
      IG is addictive. Those likes release dopamine in your body. Same drug you get from gambling, sex and booze. IG exists to sell your personal data. I’ve seen in reduce a lot of people to little more than insecure, attention starved formerly good photographers.

  4. I didn’t think “scaleability” could be applied to photography… learned something new today!

    That heading picture might get a social media user or two under heavy influence…

  5. 1.- Learning that there is no better moment than the now. Eventho all the “doers” (such a trendy word lately) been saying that for a while, it’s taking me years to actually start believing on it.
    2.- Not sure if I ever met an influencer when it comes to photography. But I’ve seen plenty of people that become a trend for what they do and after a while it all smells like stale. This might be applicable to all of us but with the photographers I like I never had that issue. Someone might have had it tho.
    3.- My social media presence is like a raindrop in a storm and kind of makes me … happy??? … to have a place where i can post stuff out there to the world. I guess it gives me a sense of belonging to something bigger than my immediate group of friends, and I like it. I could go into the paradigm that we are not part of the Universe but the Universe itself, but I never had a lysergic trip so I don’t feel qualified to have that conversation right now.
    4.- I don’t know what the term “scaleability” means but I know what “scalability” is. Just to be sure I got it straight, and because English is my second language, I googled it to make sure I was not missing something. Anyhow, I don’t know what you guys mean when it comes applied to photography. I guess is probably one of those things that will end the world one day but I won’t found out about it till is too late, thanks to a Vice documentary on Youtube … Even with that I’ll still manage to find out about it faster than most of the population that will only hear about it when we are all about to die.
    5.- “Don’t ask what America can do for you but what can you do for America”.
    6.- Years ago I used to spend my time online in a photography forum with quite a few professionals and some very knowledgeable people. Mostly in the portraits subforum. We all were seeking criticism to our work. Honest, brutal in some cases, criticism. it was good to learn and evolve, really good. But at some point I realized that some of the stuff that was being pointed out to me as a mistake it was pissing me off too much. I reached a point where technique wasn’t an issue, I knew how a proper portrait had to be taken but I was deciding not too because I wanted to do different things. At that moment I realized it was time to part ways with what anyone might think about my work because I was photographing for me. i still seek criticism, but now I now how to distill it.
    7.- If you are not you people (most) can tell, even if they just met you an hour ago, it is called perception. In case anyone has any doubt of how human brain works … “Once a phony, always a phony”.
    8.- You gotta look for what float your boat. Do what makes you happy. We are living on borrowed time. – [Just opened three fortune cookies and that is what was inside] – Since i got the Blandscapes (Nate Matos) I’ve been feeling that I should take the broom out of my ass and just go to FedEx (Kinko’s) and print little things like those for fun, because why not?.
    9.- There is nothing new under the sun … that doesn’t mean that making your own wheel is not fun anymore.
    10.- A smart man once said “I like to fail in a flamboyant way”. Heck yeah!

    EXTRA
    11.- I think we all should start communicating with each other on bullet points.

    1. EB,
      My spelling is always suspect. All good points. There needs to be a forum for this type discussion but I am feeble and only good at starting things. Take the torch my friend, and run with it.

      1. After the “Big Burn” I’m only allowed to carry flashlights. I’ll leave the torch to an actual doer, or maybe an influencer, while I sit back and point fingers at all that is wrong from the commodity of this cafe.

        I think I woke up a bit corrosive today. Maybe it’s just because I have not had my first cigarette yet.

  6. “IG is addictive. Those likes release dopamine in your body. Same drug you get from gambling, sex and booze.”.

    I like gambling, sex and booze, but not all at the same time. You Americans!

    I’m fighting the urge to check my likes….

    1. Mike,
      It’s almost impossible not to. The more time online the more they sell your data. It’s a game. Only you don’t sweat.

  7. “…Live like your hair is on fire.”
    Tried this, but as I ran around screaming and repeatedly using the F bomb, people looked at me like I was crazy…… 😜

    Seriously speaking, all great points. No better time than now to get going.

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