One of my favorite books is “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” by T.E Lawrence. This book got me thinking about pillars of being a photographer. Three things quickly came to mind. A fourth thrown in for good measure. When I think about the title “photographer” I think about a lifestyle, a mindset and a legacy. I don’t think about cameras, fame or followers. So if someone was thinking about their life, their mindset and their visual legacy what traits might come in handy? Oh, when I first start talking and I say “All of the best artists I know are creative.” What I meant to say was “curious.” You would think I would edit that, but not here on the old Shifter. We roll with it. E-ching!
Great advice, I can use this. I like what you said about shooting for yourself. Like, having a secret photographic life that only you know about, that’s the source material for the work you do share with others.
That’s funny you bring this up. I was thinking about this earlier today. You vs them. I think a lot of people shoot for them, but ultimately, if you want to find original work you can’t shoot for them. You have to shoot for you. Social media is for them. The web is for them.
A great audio post Daniel. Inspirational and refreshing to hear such poignant advice. Thanks for publishing this. Shifter of is one on my go to daily reads/listens. Theses points would make a great inspirational poster.
Glad you found something usable. More on the way.
Spot on Daniel!
Great quote by Nadav Kander: “I had to learn to frustrate the view a little, and not let a photograph reveal itself too quickly.”
What’s interesting is the idea of you vs them. I grew up shooting for me. There was no “them.” No social, no audience, no feeds, etc. Now, so much of what is done is done for “them,” meaning the world, the audience, the following, etc. It dictates what people do. That generic, filtered, washed out color that passes as “content.” Crafted so perfectly. I keep going back to Fight Club and the idea of the “Ikea Nesting Habit.” I think this habit has taken over photography. Wait, I KNOW it has.
Man it’s so true… “our” perceived need for validation from others has corrupted many creatives, artists, and journalists. To produce work from a place motivated only by our self interests, intellect, and heart, without fear of critique, acceptance, or commerce is the only place from which we can make work of real value, yet this notion is lost in the noise of social and the distillation of insecurity.
I’m guessing it still happens in the professional space, but not often enough I’m sure. Let alone to do what they do. Artist, photographer, etc. Some people don’t care. They love just being a photographer, which I totally understand. Others can’t handle it. It’s very interesting to just work for yourself, while attempting to NOT think about anyone else. More difficult than I imagined.
Creative liberty, I like that, Daniel. Discipline and I don’t get along; think flotsam on the sea-of-life. Getting up at the same time every day is good advice and I’m really going to give this a go. Maybe.
I have a routine. Kinda. It gets blown to pieces when I travel but when I’m at home I take more of a stab at it.
It’s Saturday. It’s raining here in SF. It’s time to get out and be in the fringe …
Thank you Dan.
One the money with this sir.
Discipline with routine means I’m forced to consider what I spend each day doing.
Practise, gives me chance to discover the things I never knew I might discover.
The fringe, this is where I feel happy with my work but also where I feel in peril with the need to trade on it. Creating work with no home as such is where I often find my peace in photography, making money from it? Often the clients interested in it aren’t always in the market to buy. We need confidence in what we create, even more so when it is our source of income. Such is the balance of all commercial enterprise, the dream vs the realities.
I was just thinking about this in shower. Deliberate. I love yoga because of the hyper-deliberate movement, which is also what I like about photography. I was practicing guitar last night with a friend who was just killing it. I can’t play shit, so I looked at him and said “You make it look so easy.” He said “Fifty years.” “I’ve been doing this for FIFTY YEARS.”
Wow Daniel, this Fringe point really hits home for me. I’m working through “re-focusing” on my creativity and business. I’ve been especially cognizant of all the photography industry similarities lately. Website layouts, colors, branding ideas, even about pages. Not to mention all the social media.
Thanks for the inspiration to step outside my comfort zone, fight the status quo, and put my camera in hand more often.
It’s the key to it all!
Great post Daniel. Thank you for being you.
Thanks Steve, day by day.