When I started photography I was naive without any direction. I knew little about life, had little, and lacked any type of mentor (for my industry).
I was the perfect gullible victim, tricked left & right by newbie peers and even the head executives.
They had their terrible ways with connected parents and pockets full of cash, but what I had a was tool of precise aim and quite possibly the best navigation system without identifying or labeling what it was. I trusted my instincts.
Nearly 9 years later, I could not imagine where I’d be without my instincts and trust in the process. Some of those peers left the industry, others choose substances that ultimately guided them their current lives, even with all the money and connections in the world (earned by mommy & daddy).
Years later I heard the headlights analogy and it reminded me of what I did without knowing I was doing it. Lets discuss that now:
Imagine asking someone to travel from LA to Miami. Most wouldn’t have a clue, but once you look it up it’s a long road called the Interstate 10 HWY. You can travel from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic on a single stretch of highway. Easy right?
Sure it’s one of the longest and easiest paths in America, but most still would not take the trip, even with a straight road to the final destination.
WHY WOULD OF US MOST NOT TAKE THIS TRIP?
Most would worry their car isn’t __________ enough (fill in the blank), that weather conditions would present obstacles, perhaps they question if it’s affordable or even if elements like crime, sleepless nights, hunger, accidents, or lack of cell coverage would limit their success.
That’s understandable and all are logical fears, but one tactic that helped me was to not worry about the distant troubles.
For example, if I am driving through Riverside, CA. why should I worry about the traffic jam in Phoenix, Arizona? If I get a flat in New Mexico, I should deal with that in New Mexico, not while in California.
If there’s an accident I can pull over to nap, or if the car overheats and needs repairs I could do odd jobs to find repair money. If there’s a severe storm, I can take shelter and wait it out, perhaps take that time to plan out the next patch of the road. Delays and pauses can be a great opportunity to re-evaluate.
You see, when I decided that I would only worry about things in the immediate distance I became less afraid and more likely to jump at a new opportunity. I merely responded to what was in front of, or AS FAR AS THE HEADLIGHTS CAN SEE.
If you’re looking for a perfect time to launch your site or approach a client, there won’t be one. If you’re waiting to be good enough to shoot a certain style, you’ll never get there. You will always raise the bar, you will always want to do better.
Just start now because you’ll never be perfect. Perfect is boring. Don’t worry as much about things out of your control, things in the far distance. Worry only about what is in front of you, as far as your headlights can see.
It does not matter if you’re a photographer, model, producer or any creative career. You do NOT give up, and that should never be an option for you. I can understand the pain of not knowing, lack of finances, or connections. You are capable, as I was and still am. Erase ‘I can’t” from your head right now!
You can adapt and adjust. You can pause and plan out but you are not allowed to stop and give up. You’re not allowed to not try! Not because I said so, but because you’re not allowed to cheat your future self!
Originally published at howtophotograph.net
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