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on May 8, 2012 in Friday Thoughts

Can We Talk…

There are many barriers to our taking photographs and I think the biggest one is ourselves! The one excuse that drives me nuts why we “can’t” that I hear a lot and I mean, a lot is, “It’s expensive, I don’t have any money!” My question is, “Who does?”

If you’re reading this, it means more than likely you’re into photography. That means you have a camera of some shape, form or manufacture. To me, that means that at some point you had money to buy a camera and lens. SO be thankful for your blessings right from the start!! So then instantly the “It’s expensive” excuse just went out the window in my book. I love the folks who bought a D4, $6k camera, and then slammed me when I suggested getting a card for it that coats $200 because it’s “expensive.” Really, you just spent $6k?!

But here’s what really drives me nuts, the “It’s expensive to go take pictures” excuse to not pushing your photography! So what, you bought that camera to be a book end? You live in a card board box and can’t shoot? Why do photographers put up road blocks when there is none? You own a camera, there is no excuse to not shoot. OK, you can’t go to Africa this week to photograph that Lion or head to Alaska to photograph the Polar Bears coming off the ice or Spain for the running of the bulls. You can surely step out the front door and just point the camera up and photograph a cloud and who in the world will know where that cloud is and more to the point, if it’s a cool cloud, who would care?

There are a ton of perceptions and realities in photography, one of the perceptions is us photographers who have “made it” are floating in dough, manufactures give us our gear and we travel the world shooting whatever it is we feel like shooting. Nothing could be further from the truth no matter what photographer you want to throw up as an example. Photographers only survive because they are very good at counting pennies because quite often, that is all we have. Then some say, “Ya, but all the great photograph come from exotic places and I can’t afford to go there so I will never have a great photograph.” Bla, bla, bla!

I’m sure you’ve heard of Jay Maisel and if you’ve watched his shooting in NY class on Kelby Training (and if you haven’t why not?) then you know much of his shooting is done right outside of his front door. Some would say that because he lives in NY, he has a great “outside.” We all do but for many photographers, they look past that to some grand thing that they then say, “It’s too expensive.” A simple potted plant on your front porch could be a whole photographic essay lasting months. It’s just right in front of you!

The photograph I posted here I did so for a reason. This is a $10mil aircraft, P-38 Lighting “Glacier Girl.” I didn’t then and don’t now have the budget to do a shoot with this aircraft. It’s not a shoot I conceived of or thought I could possibly be a part of. It was only my second air to air shoot. It all came about because I stepped out of my house to take photographs. If I hadn’t taken that very simple step, it would never have happened. Ya, I am incredibly fortunate and at the same time, work very hard to make luck happen. And if I hadn’t stepped out of the house many times before so I was proficient with that camera, I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage and this and other opportunities that are so graciously offered me!

So can we agree on one thing then, photography is expensive, we all know that’s a fact. With that agreed upon then, let’s stop making it a barrier to our shooting and simply go shoot. As Cheryl Crow says, “It’s not having what we want, it’s wanting what we have!”