Thoughts from an Absolute Novice

Nobody could tell you what you should photograph unless they’ve hired you for a gig then you’re contractually obligated to shoot what they ask but aside from that, never apologize for what you brazenly have an interest for in photographing.

I would find it difficult to build any sense of style if what you shot were dependent on the type of subjects others expect you to deliver. You’re great at capturing candid moments and have a great business sense but does that mean you’re destine to become a wedding photographer because that seems like the next logical step? I would say no.

I’m still an absolute novice with photography but I’m quickly learning that beyond the personal satisfaction of crafting something and considering on how far you’re willing to take the craft, they’ll be a point when shooting in lieu of owing a camera won’t be enough.

Being a photographer is not entirely based on knowing how to maneuver a black box but in the ability to authenticate and express a deep interest for something you may have.

I don’t know anyone online who openly provesses his love towards coffee more than Shawn Blanc and although he doesn’t label himself as a photographer, what he may have to say on the subject either via writing or photos will be enough to spark my interest because I know it’s coming from a person who’s completely obsess with the start to finish process of grinding, brewing and drinking great coffee.

I often think about whether one can actually make a career out of photoblogging and I’m still exploring that question. I do think you can make a career out of something like traveling or something that you’re obessesed about and do things around that passion before ever considering the conventional route of offering ebooks, workshops or selling prints from your site in order to make money.

Most photographers I follow on Twitter are people who have figured out how to build their lives around the process of publishing photographs and it’s worked because they’re doing a lot of other stuff in their lives so in a way, theirs no shortage of interesting things they can publish. In my most recent Photographer Spotlight Series, Micah Albert says that, “photography has always been a means to an end, the medium has never been my goal.” The reason why his work is so compelling is not because he knows how to use a camera but because he’s managed to use that tool to communicate and share his interest in major world issues. You learn about a person by what they feel passionate in and not by any gadget they own.

Not to say that what you and I do in our lives is not interesting enough or worthy of being shared but the potential of hitting that figurative roadblock and feeling there’s nothing else to photograph is greater for us than it is for them unless you stop searching for “things” to photograph and start explore more the things that charm you personally.

Is your goal to be the type of photographer where you get booked for gigs or be the unique case like Trey Ratcliff where in a recent Q & A, he stated that he doesn’t work as a photographer per se but that he “works more for himself and for his blog.”

I don’t feel that I have to specialize in everything I see on the web although that’s the frame of thought when you’re just starting off. As photographers, we gravitate towards specific subjects and we dedicate our creativity around that but I wouldn’t know what moves you unless you start photographing it.

Nobody does anything for 3 plus hours unless they’re exceedingly captivated by it and what I hope you get from these photo essays I’ve done is a preview to the type of things that interest me. From coffee shops, to culture, to travel, to people. If I can’t make it obvious for the type of things I’m interested in through my photography, then that’s when I’ll started questioning why I’m doing any of this in the first place.