Thoughts

Quicksand

How many times have we learned so much about our work and we feel that we can not produce the work that we want? The fact is this sort of thing happens to the best of us. We question ourselves about whether we are good enough, and the answer is actually yes. However the process sometimes can be daunting.

The joy is gone. You felt defeated.

We worked so hard to get the images that we want and when we don’t get it then we start questioning our abilities. Then, we miss something else.

The stress is getting to your head. Your fears are taking control. Your struggles become reality.  Your mind is completely filled with negativity.

How can we get out of this? Take the game of basketball for example:
1. The hours and hours of practicing dribbling the ball allows the players to be able to dribble without thinking – second nature. In photography, this relates to technical settings, micro adjustments, etc. We don’t want to think about all these when we are trying to shoot something. The mind should be clear and focused for the moment, not about what to do (what settings to use, where should I be, etc.) during shooting.  Keep your eye on the prize.
2. A shooter in the game of basketball didn’t give up after the first shot. Some of the best streak shooters out there has what they call  short term memory – forget about the things that just happened, and try again. Then try some more. Didn’t get it still? Try again with a different way or different location.

The main thing is to KEEP CALM.  

Do you see the resemblance in the world of photography?

When we shoot photographs and we are not having fun, it’s a job. Yes, most of us are able to do good work even when you feel disconnected with your subjects. However if you love them, then you most likely will have fun photographing them to beginwith. Having fun allows our creative juices to flow, in the way that we are doing all the things that we can to get better images than the last. If we consider it as a job, then the end result is: it’s good enough.

The path: work hard for your shots and have fun in the process. Try new things. Work from an angle you haven’t done before.  Take out the tools in your tool belt and use them. Play, play, and play.

DO NOT LET THE JOY YOU GET FROM PHOTOGRAPHY DISSIPATE.

Once you are in the quicksand completely, you are done.

How being passionate and true to your art will make you happier

In my travels to New York I went to The High Line Park, which was initially an overhead train track that was converted to an aerial green line. As I was walking around looking for pictures something captured my attention and it was this classical musician on his cello, playing inside one of the tunnels. The notes that he was playing moved me, and immediately I found myself walking in a faster pace trying to get to this person. When I got there, there was no one that stopped and listened – people are just passing by, barely even noticing his existence. I stayed, watched, and listened to his music. I started realizing how much focus and soul that he pours into his music: the sound of the perfectly pitched notes and the beautiful music he was playing resonated and I found myself glued, connected in the moment.

In the real world, many artists are struggling to define what they are all about. Society forces us to earn lots of money and gain fame, social media demands quantity and immediate recognition from our peers and clients, and this can be very stressful to most of us. Our heads are then filled with these self-doubting thoughts and it creates an unnecessary pressure on us. The fact is, your art is your interpretation of how you see and translate your experiences. People’s opinions should not matter. What matters is for us to be joyful in our process of creation, the way we want it and the way we see it.

YOU WILL NEVER FIND JOY IF YOUR SOUL IS UNFULFILLED – Do what you love the most, keep getting better at it, and your true followers will find a way to find you.

After a few minutes of enjoying his music, more people start to take notice and stopped and listened. He did not change the way he plays, he simply continues playing his music, with the same honesty and passion. The people who stopped, are the people who appreciates his passion – the ones that an artist could ever hope for.

See more of Erwin’s street photography images HERE.

Coaching for photographers?

Throughout the span of my photographic career, I have met a lot of photographers and most of them are constantly juggling their personal lives and their daily business tasks.  At times people become so focused on doing what needs to be done and their days become redundant.  The problem is that we are all artists, we have the desire to create and mold our crafts to become better.  We get bored easily and we love change (for the better of course).

We all need time to play, to learn, and to understand new things.

A way to get better is by learning which most of the time you can get from workshops.  There are some really amazing workshops out there, and if you are a fan of that particular photographer, then I would definitely suggest for you to take them. The only thing about group workshops is that it is never designed for your exact needs.

However, if you are looking for YOUR OWN SUPPORT SYSTEM, then this is the right place for you.   Imagine having someone that can be your sounding board, a friend who tells you like it is, one that you can ask to look at your last shoot and give pointers on what to do next. Ultimately, I am here to get you closer to where you want to be.

Improvements come from the balance between an open mind and the willingness to put in the work.

If you feel that this resonates with your current photography, I would love to hear from you.

Erwin

Erwin is:
Half of the Top Ten Wedding Photographer: Apertura,
Student of life (www.instagram.com/erwindarmali),
Teacher/Mentor (http://fworkshop.com/)