Why & How to Channel Your Passion
The word passion I've been talking about a lot in the last few slides and it's one of these words I want to word boss, I want to think more about in terms ofthe what I mean by it on dh we use it a lot when we describe we use it a lot in a positive way other should be because I don't recommend a career or indeed a life without passion. I think it's really important teo to key into what makes you tick and to try and keep re addressing how that actually comes about in what you do for a living with your photographer or not. But I also want to consider all the things about passion that I have learned through the years that I really want to impart onto other people. So let's first talk about why photography is my passion I'm going to talk more about this on day three, but I just want to give you a little intro to give you a context, so I'm going to say next, so creation of our creation of vision has always been my passion from the south portraiture through to the serial fashion and everythin...
g in between I just love to see something be created I think that's pretty much a commonality between everyone who creates satisfaction of carrying something, seeing it finished, seeing a vision that you brought you brought through to reality so that's always being another thing that's always bean lifestyle freedom. So when I first became self employed as a photographer, which wasn't that long after my first job out of university, I was very fortunate to get some opportunities that kind of obligated me to quit my job on dh start, um, doing my support richer for a living than making money from the prince, but the lifestyle freedom that comes from being self employed on being able to pretty much kind of make my own schedule in life be able to travel when I want on dh not being answerable to someone find stays a week or so or all the time in general is something that's important to me, and I always know that no matter what I do for a living that I think self employment is really who I am as a person, there's a fine line between unemployed or self employed, I find him working as a team. So the lamp that second, too, I'm going to put in. There are things that are relatively new things that I've come about mail through the fashion situations that I've been shooting over the last few years, working as a team like I've been saying the rewards of seeing other people involved in the creation of what you're making on dh. Being able to do something better than you can do just by yourself, which doesn't mean that you're compromising the final result. It just means that the final result has I had somebody more doors open tohave things bestowed upon it that you can't just do yourself I'm working as a team is important if you do want to make your work get to the next levels in final on fashion commercial photography on the last one is showing a passion with matthew, my partner and seeing him happy. This is and you want us well, I found that there is this I mean, he started assisting me with my self portrait years back, and it was nice because he was in another job on dh. He was just kind of coming in to assist me on occasion, but now, in our days, we we do everything together. I mean, he's got the very large role in making a lot off our event organization, pulling a lot of things together on. But seeing him happy is something that I realizes is a great thing because it's not just about me being happy and me getting everything I want. Seeing someone else happy and sharing my passion with someone else doesn't have to be a partner, but anyone that you work with to see them happiest at a genuine pleasure and I find that more more when you know when we get a job come in and we have these ideas flowing around I can see how he's really happy putting them into practice and to see someone in that state is very nice on dh it's part of the whole journey of life so passion passion is like electricity be careful with it channel it in the right ways so so passionate like I say we most often use it to describe what we really like and what drives us what makes us happy but it's also something that it's not enough to be successful in whatever your passion about you need more than the passion to be successful in that particular chosen career route so it's not enough to be passionate excited you need to be passionately determined so um I mean by this is passion we often is like an excitement if something is a buzz that makes us kind of jump up and get excited about something that we're doing but we also need to have a dedication to what we're doing is well to see it through a lot of time in the creative industry it takes time to produce stuff whether that's one picture or what that's a film a film is like you know something that takes sometimes years to make in terms of the movie sets things that require dedication from the initial burst of passion through to the final outcome takes time when it takes motivation to get to you can't build a reputation and what you are going to do, so I find this quote really I think of it a lot because a lot of the time we need to have ideas in order tio to plan things need to have them their seeds to start teo germinate and into real things on we always have, you know, ideas and things you want to do, but it's quite good quote this one because you have to ultimately do them to prove to the world about you. Your idea has something in it like another quote says, and ideas are useless unless used so there's a lot of times where I've had ideas that I haven't followed through, and I know that I don't yet have the passion to follow them through, but one day I might so maybe talked about them online, and I kind of wish I didn't because I don't want a thing. Well, actually I want to concentrate on this and think about that later, so I've kind of learned from that to maybe not speak too quickly. And first of all, think about whether I've got the passion to see through and then put the kind of confirmation out there in public just because you believe you can do something doesn't mean the world thinks you can it needs proof and just because you can do it on prove it doesn't mean the world will make room for you now this sounds kind of harsh but honestly like this is something I realized over the years that I guess I don't necessarily wish someone told me it's just something I've learned but it just means that whatever you do of your passion about it's not about getting offended when the world doesn't seem to make room for you on like, for example, you open a fashion magazine and you see these pictures and you think I could have done I could have done better than that, you know the lighting is blah, blah blah and and that's that's okay, you know you that's good, you know you feel like you are your knowledge is growing and you would know how to enact the particular shoot they don't do it better, but it doesn't mean that the world is going to say okay, come on, you do it, you have to actually get out there, you have to get the momentum to get onto that moving train that is the world of commercial work and when I say just because you believe you can do something doesn't mean the world thinks you can it needs proof that's going back to the other idea of when you have these ideas when you have these urges, you have to actually put yourself into your work and make sure that you come out in your work properly because the work is how the your work is, how your world is judging you, your world is not looking at you and saying, oh, you got great talent in there, let's come forward and, you know, let's, let's, let's, have you work for us? They need to see what you can do because any proof, it sounds really obvious, but this is something that I've kind of reminded myself through the years, because sometimes I feel so passionate about wanting to do something. But then I asked myself, well, you know, how do I prove I could do something? I've got all the self portrait, and I want to do commercial work well, let's, get some images in my portfolio that show all the models, because at the moment, I've got this very esoteric set of pictures of myself with people who are over, but they don't tend to know what to do with because it is not applicable to the world of commercial work to be shooting yourself. So I thought I'd think this diagram, too, really, you know, sophisticated diagram here of to show this separation between you and the client because of all the time through the years have been times where I've almost felt may be offended or a little bit when somebody expresses that they don't how many work for me or they don't think I'm right for us and certain thing, but when you remember that you and the client aren't just, you know, you know, they're not judging you necessarily. There are two things in between that there's your work from the situation, so you have to make sure you put yourself into your work first of all, so that could take years of getting your work to the caliber of the kind of work your trying to get. Then you've got the client on the other end on dh, they're not necessarily it's, not necessarily all about their opinion of your work, it's about the situation like they got to offer you. So when you email somebody, for example, your portfolio, um, they might say, you know, nice work, but then you kind of never don't hear from them anymore and that's because they've got a life where they've got different things going on, and you might not necessarily fit into any of those situations that they've got in their life, and then when they get some, like a pro example in agency and then they get a client come along and then they might have just someone that comes up at the right time. Someone who does email them or someone they recommended and they give the job to them so it's not necessarily that your work is rubbish and that they don't like you it's just that you've missed the kind of train in terms of getting in front of them at the right time and getting getting in their face enough but also you have to make sure the work you do is relevant as well you might want to do tend different things but you've been creating a portfolio that's mainly one particular type of image, so I know it sounds really obvious but how do you expect to get work in some other thing when you're doing work of specialized in a certain look? So you have to think about how you're conveying your work on day also you have to also think about how you're playing the cards of your workers well because you might have a few varying types of work and it's about showing the right work to the right person at the right time. So you see this situation thes two levels between you and the client means that passion is not all about getting what you want all the time it's about being relevant to the world of business art meets business is sometimes tricky because of the situation that they meet in so watch that your passion doesn't kill persistence so you want to make sure that your work like I was saying about getting your work in someone's face to the right time, right place and right time, you know, persistence is important because then you make sure that you're putting out enough hits, you know, to actually make it to make successful situation on one of them. Watch that your passion still allows you to draw the line between art business so like I was saying about playing your work was like a set of cards. I had a meeting with a gallery a few years ago on dh I guess looking back it was a little bit more like a portfolio review the way it turned out rather than me pitching my work to them because I was showing them far too much work and I guess I kind of expected them to say, oh, yeah, you know, we like this work let's take this work and that's you know, I don't know let's exhibit this particular work, but I just kind of confused them with too much too much imagery because in fine art generally well in love, commercial practices actually going find out in particular they really the ideal thing, the ideal thing that you want to present a gallery with it is a set of work, a siri's of work, maybe like six to ten images of a certain siri's, but as a commonality between them but, I mean, I'm speaking very generally here, but if the work's kind of lockers that they belong together and have something running through them rather than being kind of different things, even if you've got the same theme going on, I mean, that's, something I struggle with because I like to make my works individually beautiful, so I don't like to say, oh, yeah, let's, make it look like that one, so it fits with that one and that one, that one, but sometimes I find that they just have a commonality at the end that makes them all look as if they belonged together, but passion. You need to make sure that you're all the stuff, all the stuff you make passionately actually can be related in an organized manner to the commercial work, so you can do whatever you want behind closed doors. But when it comes to showing your work to someone for a commercial purpose, you need to have your cards ready in the right way, what's that your passions allows you to equally value knowledge and experience. So when I was, I mean, I got into photography, a young age youngish, and I was like, I don't know what nineteen to nineteen or twenty ish when I started this whole ms daniella think of myself poor traits on dh I feel like young photographers you know, our new photographers in general have this kind of freshness about them, which is really good because there are a lot people in the industry that are there have years behind them and it may be that they got used to using certain ways they've got tons of experience, but they're really still be stilted in what they do that they're stylish and be stagnant or whatever eso freshness is good, but then on the other hand, you also want to make sure that freshness you don't consider to be everything because knowledge and experience are actually important as well. I mean, I feel like recently I've started to really feel like and the knowledge and experience that I've gleaned over the last few years is really coming into play with the opportunities that I've bean given. So we I really like to give my clients the feeling that the gang something fresh, something innovative, but I also want them to know that they can trust me as well and that reliable on that I've had experienced doing whatever I'm doing for them on the knowledge as well as knowing my gear, knowing my techniques so that they're not frightened off by thinking I'm, you know, two fresh and I'm just not experienced enough to know what I'm doing so in yourself as well, you wantto value the knowledge and experience you get from the from all the time that you spend on photography and not just the initial excitement, you might get the beginning of your career or the beginning off your life. If you're young photographer watch that your passion gives room for a sustained growth and focus on specific goals rather than they dreams. So the vague dream thing you know you might want to, for example, get published in fashion magazine, but you have to you make it easier for yourself just like when you're making it to do list. You try not to put really vague things on there, but specific things like I'm going to email ten fashion magazines today, I'm going to spend two hours researching fashion magazines online rather than just kind of thinking I want to get published, too. Where do I start? Because getting published in the fashion magazine, you know, it doesn't take a lot of patients and persistence at first, especially when you first try to get into it. So when you first up pitching fashion magazines, you might want to try and kind of start with small one start with you, give yourself time to get the hang of it is is really good tip because because you might find you don't quite know what you're doing at first, even though you think you do because when you look back in a few years, you'll look back and think, oh yeah, that was that story had at the beginning and you grow and that's good growth is good because it gives you time to figure out what you want to do, and you don't want to get known for what's exactly in your mind right now because it will grow and flourish, not become something much maur you because you're on a journey of self discovery as well, not just the people around you discovering your work watch that your passion is genuine and not put on for the sake of impressing others. This is a particularly good one for hour internet culture that we have these days in terms ofthe sharing everything we're doing online and everything that we've accomplished and we're all you know, I think we all enjoy the recognition of it praise sharing things sharing is a wonderful thing in the internet community that we have these days allows us to get a lot of a lot of pleasure from that. You know, people that we normally maybe not be in touch with assed, we would without social media, but also you you have to check in with yourself and make sure that, you know if you think you want to be a fashion photographer, do you really want to be a fashion photographer if you think you want to be a fine art, do you really want to be a fine up because sometimes you can fall victim to doing something because everyone else is doing it or someone else's dream but you see kind of like concert constantly beam didn't you through your computer, social media, your smartphone or whatever you have to make sure you pull back and think you know what is it? I want what's really inside of me on don't worry about always about other people impressing other people because you have to ultimately be honest to yourself about where you want your artistry to go in terms of a commercial label what you want to spend your time doing, watch that your passion doesn't want to make you do everything it helps it helps if you specialize but not be pigeonholed. So there is this difficulty of conflict between specialization and being pigeonholed and I can't give an easy answer to that because the commercial world is going to wantto pigeonhole someone's who has all these naturally multi various on desires of any human or any artist wants to do so many things you know, but the commercial world wants to know you for something in particular and I want to be talking more about that when I talk about style but that's kind of what style it's the style is something really it's more like a label that someone else is giving you so that you can be answerable to get into the situations you might want to get commercially, but anyway, your passion making you want to do everything. One of the best things I realized through the years is realizing that I could admire someone else's work without wanting toe do it myself without wanting to emulate myself, whether that's sudden like nighttime urban landscapes or some genre that's completely different from what I do, or even a branch of fashion photography that's different from what I do, you can still admire that work and, you know, especially also if you're kind of like in a community with that photographer that's a photographer, you know, it's nice to be a part of community where you're all doing something a bit different and to appreciate what they do without wanting it all for yourself, because it might be that that thing is not really you, you might try it. I'm not saying don't try things it's really important to try things that's, how you learn where you want to be, that's one of the biggest lessons to learn where you want to be by trying something that's not you, but but yeah, but realizing that ultimately maybe you might think that in the future, okay, I want to get to something in particular. I'll try this this and this, but I'm not going to try and do everything, and I let all the people do the things that I can still admire watch that your passion doesn't lead to paralysis because you want to do so many projects but have no focus. This is another thing a little bit like the last slide, but this time, in terms ofthe all the things you want to do related to your particular chosen genre. So so for example, you want to do a fashion story and you want to do fashion fine art siri's and you want to design a magazine or something? I mean, I've wanted to design a magazine as well of my own, which is something that has just taken a back burner because it's, just something that I've completely well, I know how much work goes into making a magazine, so I know I'm not gonna touch that until one day I feel like it's really right? Or you want to don't you want to take on other things? Like do weddings and all this? On dh yeah, I mean it's good to try different things but if you never do any of these things and you're kind of just got them all in a to do list then you have to seriously think about knocking some of them out so that you can actually concentrate on the things you really want to do and you might find that that helps you realize you know where you actually where your passions lie truly it might be something is on your list that you realize you don't really want to do it might be there because of the other slide because you think other people want to do it so you want to do as well we'll think about what you actually have the the stamina to keep pushing at it might be that you might realistically no have a standard for some of the things that you think you want to do so it's helpful really to check in and focus and think about what projects how can I achieve these projects? For example, how can I get this website up and running by the end of next week? Watch that your passion doesn't cause hunger for impossible perfection meaning you get nothing finished so I put their own example for example I'm talking about particular things so an image or a book or a website or a portfolio anything that involves pretty much foreseeable kind of deadline so for example, when I was writing my first book, I just I've written two books, but both of them to be honest, I would probably never I'd still be writing them now if there were if there wasn't a deadline for them where I actually had to hand them in on get them finished on dh something inherent with the slide that I want to put across is imperfection is just part of everything I think his artists we do strive for perfection, we strive for everything to be beautiful and perfect but it's never really achievable and if you can accept that that's great because it allows you to finish things and you'll get no sure you will know this already because you will evil created images before so you know that satisfaction you get when you call something finished and you maybe put it out there you don't necessarily put out there, but I found that when I was making myself portrait, so all those years making each one of putting it out there it wasn't just about people seeing and commenting although that was great because it gave me some sense that there was something going on that people like that I should continue but there was also that pleasure of finishing it and having that self imposed deadline where I can put it out, andi it's done and it's finished and that gives you this surprising feeling off motivation to move onto the next thing and the next thing sometimes when I'm looking through a hole like twenty gigs worth of images from a shoot, andi think, god, where do I start? I've got nothing on then I kind of comeback pull out an image, work on it, finish it and it gives me is this surprising house gets surprised by how motivated I then field work on something else from it because I finished it's done and dusted, and I can think about something else my brain could move on. Be aware that the moment you get the most recognition for work, for example, if siri's of work not necessarily your whole lifetime, a look that you've passionately created may likely be long after you've seized to be so passionate about it. This is a really interesting point on a really quite important point because it is known it is not necessarily an answer to it, but it's something that to bear in mind. But if you want, don't like, for example, create a series of work and you wanted to put it out there and get recognition for it. Get exhibited, get it published well, you want to well, we don't always know whether they're gonna have the stamina to see beyond those years, but it's often that when we first doing it, when we're hearts first in it and we put it out there, we get a little bit of recognition, but maybe not a lot. And then when, when our hearts kind of moving on to something else, people finally start to get it with the work that we put out there because everybody ofwork you create there is inevitably some period of promotion after it's finished, you're still trying to get it out there, you know? It depends how big the body of work is that we're talking about. It may be that you create work, he put it online, you get recognition and you move on to something else because it's not it wasn't really a massive deal what you created, but if for example, you're creating a series of work what you want to exhibit all over the world, you want to be quite a big thing you spent years on it, then you have to remember that you're gonna have to be flogging this thing long after you've actually had. That spark of inspiration first started on dh. You know, there's, no easy answer to this, it may be that you have other projects on the go at the same time to satisfy what your heart wants while you're plugging something that you did years ago, but that is a really good point, because I find that sometimes your audience, our slow catching on to where you are because you're kind of you're almost ahead of them in whatever you're envisioning in your work. So you need have patients with that? The most important one is watch that your passion doesn't lead you to getting walked over even as a hobbyist slash amateur. So what I mean by this is the working for three working for free thing, so this this is a big problem with passion, so you can't simply say, do what you love and the rest will come because you might not do something for money you want to do something for money, but others do. So when I first started my so poor traits, you know, you could say that how is that one of those typical people that didn't really know? I didn't really expect to make any money from it. I think with me there was a subconscious desire to make a living from it, so I don't think I'm a a brilliant example of this but I know there are people out there that don't have any intention of creating any living from their work or don't want to become, you know, rich and famous from what they do they just put their images out there is a hobby but then someone approaches them and says, can I use your work for the cover of my book or for my advert and they say, oh yeah, go ahead you know how great to be in an advert because I'm not a photographer this is great, but you know that technically they've taken a job at another photographer could've been paid for this client in particular has basically exploited them because they've got a budget for that image I mean, obviously it depends on the situation and what the budget is, but if it's someone that is looking for some to use your pictures marketing, then there's going to be a budget involved. So if you're so passionate about your work that you kind of think well, you know it's it's it's so great to have it out there on people seeing it because that's what? I want my work but you don't get paid or recognized properly by the client that's using your work, then this can lead to you basically getting walked over when I first I was connecting art and business and first starting you know, even though even though I didn't know that I was going somewhere with my work, not sure quite sure where I was going, but I was still feel bad about telling people asking him for money, you know, asking for money for my print or money for licensing because I felt like I create something during a moment of passion, so to sell it felt almost like, you know, a secretive just like, you know, I can't you know, this is something I really love so let's give it out with love as well. The problem is the problem is all the people on the other end do do what they do for money because they're involved with a company or whatever that does involve money, so to be fair, you should be getting money because that's part of fairness, the equality of the situation so even though you might feel really mean asking for money it's important to make sure that you are not kind of walked over in a professional sense, even if your hobbyist an amateur who doesn't intend to make a living but certainly obviously if you're starting out when you want to get in there commercially, finally, if you want to let passion meat business learn to make it sustainable and consider how it might evolve, business has potential to kill a passion but needn't so as I was saying there you know, when you start to get engaged in his business situations with your work, it can be a whole new world because the world of you create in your work might be this magical one where you're not think having a care in the world and then I mean that for example, a lot of my work, a lot of cds of work in my hope for you have been created with this moment of like, I don't even know I'm doing, I just know that I'm really excited by where this is going, you know, that's how I started that's how I started my cereal fashion siri's and that's how I've started other bodies of workers well, s so this is idea that I don't know how this is going to make money I don't know where it is, but I just know that there's this moment of passion that I'm so engrossed in I don't even care but then later down the line you do find that there are ways becoming a parent of how to make money or make a living from that work you've created because then it all starts become consolidated and you start to, for example, prepared exhibition, perhaps of all the images that we've created or a book or put it in a portfolio to get commercial work whatever so business has its potential to kill that passion in terms of you thinking all you know I don't like this world of actually a big hot dog eat dog kind of business where I'm asking for money negotiating kind of trying cut a deal over these images but it needed art business can come together in a creative way you want to think about I mean in this in this slide I've written about making it sustainable I like this word because it means that you have some kind of longevity from what you do my self portraiture I considered to be part my evolution you know, I did make money for my self portraiture is something that I sold us fine art is something that I am made books from it's something that I had licensed in situations it got people's attention it leverage meaning in lots of respect but it also had the settlement off and like I say he said esoteric is a good word very quite niche thing to create self portraiture so if you get commercial work from it you don't know where they're going to get more commercial work from it so you might want to think about how you're going to use the the outcomes from the commercial work you doing you complete and you do how you going to use that as a tool to your next job on your next job the next job so sustainability how how do you want to keep the momentum going