We all stand on the dock from time-to-time (me included), knowing we want to get in the water and swim. The hardest part is taking that first plunge into the cold and even more so, keeping our head above the surface. For those who have been following my friend Zack Arias’ blog know, he has recently written a series of blog posts regarding just that. Take the time to read through his series of highly inspirational posts HERE, HERE and HERE.
Regardless if we’re a beginning photographer or an experienced professional, we often find ourselves either stuck in a creative rut or holding ourselves back from following our hearts to create something original and fresh. We know what we want to create, but we don’t quite know how to make it happen. As a result of that frustration, we simply put it on the back burner or give up all together. Sometimes the pace of our lives and the pressure of a paid job can cloud the way we approach our work. Or worse, we simply avoid getting out of our safety zone and we eventually give up the ghost.
Yesterday as I was archiving some old SIMPLE+DIRTY work, Trevor and I came across some of my very first photography work from 2004. Although we shared some tear-inducing laughs at my old stuff, it struck me that I would not have gotten to the point I am right now without busting my butt, day-in and day-out, screwing up hundreds if not thousands of photos along the way. I came to the realization that if I had not stuck my neck out there, I would never had made the mistakes to learn something new. At the time, I had no clue what I was doing. But I did it. Although in hindsight my photos sucked and frustration was abundant, it made me push myself to new personal goals with each click of the shutter.
When I first started out, I had a deep interest in shooting band promotional photos. The problem was I compared myself to all the other amazingly talented photographers out there and as a result, I told myself I couldn’t do it. That I couldn’t match up. After talking myself into actually doing it, I shot my first series of band photos for free. Having blindly jumped into it, I did the best I could do. Even though the photos were….. well…. gross, I was proud to call them my own.
(Remember The Day – first promo shoot, circa 2004.)
Then the frustration set in. I hated my work. I told myself I could never make a decent band photo, worthy of anyones appreciation. As a result of that frustration, I became pissed at myself. I was at a point in which I decided I needed to do something different with my photography. It was a long, teeth grinding process of finding my creative vision, but it eventually came as I developed new skills.
(Sunday Flood – 2009.)
(Sunday Flood – 2009.)
In Zack’s latest BLOG POST he challenged all of us to make that first plunge. To try something new for ourselves, but more importantly for someone else. That’s where I stand today. I need a challenge. I want my photography to grew to new markets, to new clients and set myself apart from others. But I want it to somehow make a difference.
And that’s what I intend to do. I’m taking on Zack’s call to action. I’m going to serve someone with my camera.
I intend on taking you through the process on this blog over the next month. My goal is to tackle a product advertising campaign at zero cost for a non-profit organization that we recently became acquainted with in Dubuque, IA. I’m excited to take this on, but my frustration is that I want this to be different, yet awesome. I want it to stray away from a simple product shot, yet have value to a client in need. I have a few ideas in my mind, but I don’t quite know how to make it happen. In fact, it may not work at all. But I’m going to try even if it means I end up on the dock, soaking wet.
Thank you Zack, for giving me another shove into the water.