Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

17 PHOTOGRAPHERS REVEAL THE HARDEST LIFE LESSON THEY LEARNED WHEN STARTING OUT

I know the title bar is a bit shouty, sorry for that! This article on Featureshoot is a insight into what photographers think when starting out, it is strange that many of them seem to find the brickbats and rejections were not to be expected. These photographers do seem to be mainly aiming at the art rather than the commercial arena and that might be why they assumed their work might be accepted without question. Anyway it is a very interesting article and worth 5 minutes of your time, I should do the same but ask my commercial photographer friends

Here are a selection

Richard

Image © Richard Tuschman

Richard Tuschman: I can think of two. First, you cannot please everyone, and your audience is not going to include everyone. Find your voice, make the work you need to make, and let the work find your audience. Second, you never “arrive;” you are always on the journey. You have to keep constantly searching, learning, and reinventing yourself. There is no auto-pilot.

Leon

Self-portrait © Leon Borensztein

Leon Borensztein: That as a portrait photographer I cannot seem to please my subjects. The unsightly ones think I make them look unattractive and the gorgeous ones think I make them look unsightly. It seems that most people believe that what they see in the mirror is much better rendition of themselves than my portraits. Why did I choose this profession? I could be a prima-ballerina.

Sophie

Image © Sophie Gamand, from the book Wet Dog

Sophie Gamand: Things don’t happen to you if you don’t put yourself out there and you just can’t control everything, which is a great thing! I used to overthink a lot and stop myself from doing the things I wanted to be doing. I would find excuses; I would scare myself out of them. The day I stopped fearing or anticipating, and started actually doing, I shot Wet Dog, the series that would change my life forever. You just never know where a project will take you, so when the desire is there, just act on it: make that trip, take that photo, organize that shoot. When I shot Wet Dog I was planning on a different project, but I was at the groomer and the dogs looked cute wet, so I snapped away. That series went viral, won me awards, including a Sony World Photography Award, got me a book deal, and kickstarted my career. I could have never planned that. So stop over-planning and start doing!

Read the rest of these insights here

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