I’ve been writing a lot recently, and having the intense urge to just “get it all out”. I can’t really explain it, if I keep this up, maybe in a decade or so, I’ll consider myself a writer too. (ha)
It’s the perfect summation of my decade-long photography career thus far, and has suddenly fostered a patience that I’ve never had before. If it takes another decade to become even better, then so be it. I’m getting comfy. I’ll be here as long as it takes.
This is something that didn’t even compute with me even 2 years ago, when I grew somewhat bitter and angry from how long my goals were taking to accomplish. When I train myself to take a 30,000 ft view however, all I see is an immense amount of forward progress. Some days you move the ball forward an inch, and others, you move it forward a mile.
Being driven by short term desires and accolades has always blown up in my face. My most embarrassing moments in life usually come from making decisions based on ego or short term financial gain of some kind (or just being desperate for cash). Anytime I’ve just grit my teeth and waited it out has always been of far more benefit.
I think this is why it’s of the utmost importance to love what you do. If you don’t, it’s that’s much harder to take a decade to improve or find success. I can’t imagine wanting to do anything else other than photography, and not only that, but I’ve proven to myself that a decade is really no time at all.
If you don’t actually enjoy what you do, all you’ll do is build resentment day to day. The 10 years isn’t what’s hard, its the 3,650 days of waking up and doing the work. That’s the hard part. Many people are much stronger than me in that they can push through years of doing something they hate, I don’t have that kind of tolerance, and that’s also an incredible driving force to doing what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I also have way more focus now than I did at the beginning of that first decade. I remember for at least a little while, being embarrassed or too afraid to even admit to friends and family that photography was what I wanted to do the rest of my life. Even still, I’m the butt of a few jokes from family about my career choices because it’s not a traditional line of work. That used to really take me down, and these days it eats at me a little bit, but it does fuel me with some weird sort of indignant motivation to go even harder.
Speaking of which, earlier this year, I resigned myself to posting a photo every day for the rest of eternity. Due to my daily postings over the last 10 years, I’ve built up such a huge library of content (I shuddered when I typed that word) that I could post something every day for the next decade and not shoot anything new. Unfortunately for you, I shoot new stuff most days, so that selection only gets bigger and bigger.
My favorite book I read lately is by one of my favorite photographers of all time: I’m Possible by Jeremy Cowart is a book about his career and how he pushed through self-doubt and accomplished a great deal throughout his career. He’s now working on starting a hotel which seems like a Herculean task for a photographer, but he’s making it happen. Highly recommend this book for anyone in the creative field or wanting to be in the creative field.
My ultimate goal with this photography thing, more than my own success even, is showing people what I was shown, which is that you can do anything you set your mind to. This book incapsulates that perfectly, and from someone far more successful than me.
This disorganized post is all just to say that a decade isn’t that long, and now that I’m starting my sequel decade, I’ve got all kinds of new ideas for where this ship goes next. Just need to chip away at them a day at a time.