Thursday, March 06, 2008

Where's the passion?

A couple doze peacefully on an English beach during a bank holiday weekend.

The title of the blog, where's the passion, has got nothing to do with the image, although I admit the juxtaposition amused me.

The question is really addressed to other photographers but I suppose it could apply to anyone in their career. Photography is one of those jobs that requires passion and care.

As the years go by I have encountered many professional photographers who sadly have lost their passion. It's usually replaced by a cynical attitude, cutting corners, going through the motions and often hidden behind a massive ego. These photographers use a tired formula that hasn't changed in years, get paid and move on to the next routine job. Even more sadly they frequently don't realise that they've lost that wide-eyed passion and enthusiasm they had when they first started. Yes, life can wear you down but when it does you've got to do something about it.

Fortunately some photographers realise what's happening and they move on to other fresh photographic challenges. Sometimes you'll hear about a really successful photographer, maybe in advertising or fashion, who gives up their mainstream career to pursue their own projects. These are the photographers who realise that the time has come to move on and reclaim their passion.

Amateurs often have more passion than pro photographers. They aren't exposed to the chores, repetition and constraints that pros face. Some amateurs though are more passionate about equipment than photography but that's another story...

I'm fortunate, I've never lost my passion and the joy of getting it right down to the smallest detail. There's always room for improvement, always a new challenge and more to learn.

However if you're reading this blog and secretly you think to yourself, "Hmm I recognise what he's saying here." Then I implore you to take action now to make yourself happier and more satisfied in what you do. Re-ignite that passion. Change direction. Start doing research. Get out of your rut. Take a course. Start shooting with film again (if you work digital now) or vice versa. Don't use that old excuse about having to pay the bills. A fresh boost to your creativity and passion and you may be in much stronger position to earn more than you do now. What are you waiting for?

And to those photographers who are sitting there reading this and who have got passion... I say, watch out for the early warning signs, like when you think to yourself, "Is it worth the extra effort. Will the client even notice? If the client doesn't care why should I?" These are not the thoughts of someone who is passionate about what they do.

One last thing. Don't flog a dead horse. If you don't feel passionate about photography anymore, and you can't see yourself taking a different route in photography, then why not consider doing something else? Life is too short to be stuck doing something you don't feel passionate about.

And if you are full of enthusiasm, obsessed with getting every detail right, love what you're doing and photography is your passion and life then be happy. What you have is rare in this world where most people work to live, rather than live to work.

Right that's enough for tonight. I'm off to work on my latest batch of images. Can't wait!

Comments welcome as always.

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