Thursday, March 31, 2016

Evolution of a Photographer

The words have left me. Whenever that happens I turn back to the thing that started me on this creative journey in the first place...photography.


When I quit my retail job in September 2011 to pursue my passion for photography, I thought I would take a couple of photography classes, practice a little and I would be good. I did not know about the long and winding journey that lay ahead. It is probably good that I didn't know or I may have never started.


It is now the spring of 2016, four and a half years after I started on my photography journey, and I finally feel confident to say I am a photographer when a stranger asks me "What do you do?" It helps that I have the work to back it up, in the form of a couple of published pieces, and a worthy Instagram account.


Writing this post I finally found a good reason to keep my less-than-perfect early work, because when I look at this I can see how far I have really come.  MY goodness...


Confession time - I have ALWAYS hated taking still life photos of flowers, and now in the midst of, what seems like, my hundredth e-course I know why...it isn't about the flower. It is about the light, the lines, the angle, the camera settings, and the post-processing. It is about portraying emotion within the frame.


In the beginning I compared myself to everyone, and everyone was better than me, or so I thought. If they were better than me, it was only because they had already put in hundreds of hours of practice and had earned the place they were at.


It would have been so easy to give up a year into it, when I was still far from good. But if I quit I not only let myself down, I also let my family down who had supported me whole-heartedly into this passion pursuit. So I kept going, chasing the specific things I needed and wanted to learn. It wasn't an easy journey, it isn't a quick journey, but it is a worth-while journey to that place of confidence and being good enough.

22 comments:

  1. No, the journey towards being a photographer is not a quick one to achieve the results we are seeking. I also find that it's a learning path and that we never really 'arrive' at a specific goal - because the art of learning is an ongoing process in which we evolve and change and find ourselves. Then as we ourselves change, so does our photography. I like your first photo very much.

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  2. I can't remember when I first started following your blog but it has been worth it. I have noticed a definite improvement in your photography skills. Please don't stop... I enjoy every post.

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  3. I've walked in your shoes, so to speak, and feel every step and every pebble that has found its way into said shoe.
    The road, the journey, they have taken us both places where we have finally felt comfortable with our abilities to push forward and continue to seek & search & improve.
    May the journey never end, because then the learning has also ended.
    Beautiful post!

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  4. Hi Sarah,
    Where have you published and how can I access your Instagram?

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  5. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful :-)

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  6. these photos are just yummy and springy and each one tells a story!!! it took me a very long time to say i'm a photographer and i still sometimes cringe a bit inside when i say it….like i'm a fraud of sorts…so i like to through in that i'm a writer, too…..

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  7. I love your reflections here, Sarah. Tis true ... to be good-->great at anything it takes perseverance, dedication, and passion. You've put it all together and are finding success on your journey. So proud or you, my friend.

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  8. Hello my friend, so many lovely comments. It is wonderful how you touch others.

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  9. Love reading about your journey and your images are lovely. I know exactly what you mean about still life, but you're right it's the lines and (especially for me) the light that keeps me coming back. I wish my journey had been a bit less interrupted, I want to be so much better than I am but other things have come up and I'm so cross with myself for allowing them to get in the way. You have inspired me to prioritise and refocus. Thank you. x

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  10. Love reading about your journey and your images are lovely. I know exactly what you mean about still life, but you're right it's the lines and (especially for me) the light that keeps me coming back. I wish my journey had been a bit less interrupted, I want to be so much better than I am but other things have come up and I'm so cross with myself for allowing them to get in the way. You have inspired me to prioritise and refocus. Thank you. x

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  11. So very beautiful! Looking back at photographs I have taken in years past does help me keep moving forward...I can see some progress. (Sometimes I wonder 'what was I thinking'.) You did find words today. :) The sentences that struck me the most were, 'It is about portraying emotion within the frame.' and '...earned the place they were at.' When feeling 'less than' with my photography it is easy to forget all the hours others have taken to polish their craft. Great post!

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  12. You definitely have done some stunning work. I have to remind myself of this while I'm trying to draw or paint and keep at it even though time is slim these days.

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  13. Always enjoy seeing your work and reading about the path you are taking

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  14. Oh Sarah you are already good enough. I agree, the journey is long and sometimes difficult but it is the same with any serious endeavor. To be judged good, by others or yourself , does not happen overnight. In photography there is a lot to learn. Then there is the editing.
    I love that you not only do very nice still photography but you also take your camera outside into nature. Each photo tells a story, either in your words or in a feeling. Keep on doing what your doing. It's all good.

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  15. You certainly have evolved . . .
    Photographer . . . yes indeed!

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  16. Sarah, you have had an amazing journey these last few years! I know that I come here and always get inspiration and encouragement! I'm never satisfied with my photography of flowers. You're right, I'm trying to hard to take a picture of a flower and not paying attention to "the light, the lines, the angle, the camera settings, and the post-processing." And, the picture doesn't portray emotion it's flat and dull! I need to work on this keeping your words in mind!

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  17. This is definitely something every honest photographer can relate to. These images are stunning.

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  18. Terrific post here, Sarah. And I'm glad that you are evolving into your own style. I've enjoyed the journey with you, including those Coffee Shop Chronicles. Yes, great emotion portrayed here, in your words and in your photos. Keep it up! Aloha!

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  19. Inspiring as always. I keep thinking one day I'll do the light airy still life but something holds me back - I think I don't feel a connection though and that's why I back away. Do you know what I mean? This is a good journey we're on.

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  20. Isn't it something to look back at your beginning work? It's proof how far you've come-I'm glad in here to witness your journey Sarah!

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  21. Your journey encourages me greatly, Sarah. I'm just the opposite of you: a writer hoping to become a photographer too. I love this quote: "So I kept going, chasing the specific things I needed and wanted to learn." My friend Ann Kroeker says this about writing: follow the energy. I love your philosophy (and thanks for liking my photo on Instagram.)

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)