Deriving Motivation || The Art of Photography



Photography, they say is an art. It takes a lot of hard work and an eye for detail to create some dramatic pictures; pictures which would not only be stunning to look at but pictures which would tell a story, so to speak. But, all this creative thinking does take a toll on the mind, and your mental state to some extent, if I may put it that way. You see, photography as a hobby and as a business are two different things altogether. When one pursues it as a hobby, all one need to do is just go out without really any particular agenda (although it always helps to have a aim in mind before just randomly getting trigger-happy) and create pictures; pictures which make YOU happy and perhaps keeps your creative juices flowing. However, when it comes to the business end of photography, that is where things start to get a little dicey & to a certain extent dirty.

The general consensus is that a photographer just creates pictures and earns money out of it (preferably big bucks), whereas the truth couldn’t be further apart. The actual photo-shoot which I talk about is just a mere 25% of it while the rest 75% of the work includes a lot of running around, client meets, hours and hours worth phone-calls, some more meetings, some haggling around with the clients for “best prices” (and what not!), and if they appreciate your work or if you get ‘lucky’, you might end up getting the assignment. Apart from all this, we, the bunch of professional photographers also need to constantly be on our toes when it comes to inspiration and deriving motivation. I derive my motivation from nature, by taking long walks with the camera, or perhaps with just my cell-phone, using the phone’s camera as best as I can. I just soak it all in, rather than sitting infront of a PC and going through other photographers’ work tirelessly. Yes, that is something which I do, from time to time, but I don’t make it a point to soak it all in to an extent that I start to go crazy about it. You see, what happens when you keep on looking at other people’s work so obsessively is that it somehow slows you down to an extent that it might even start to affect your own work in a negative manner. It might even depress you! I know, because I have dedicated a few years of my life doing just that; going through people’s work from all over the world and trying to gauge how exactly did the said photographer photographed it, forgetting that nothing can be a better teacher than going out and actually creating pictures.

Inspiration is a good thing, I am not denying the fact. But, inspiration when becoms an obsession, all it will end up giving you is a mild heart-attack, perhaps even panic attacks. What I would suggest you do, if you need inspiration, has got nothing to do with photography, actually. You go out, take a walk, go watch a movie, listen to music, take a long stroll through a park, meet your friends, talk to them about anything BUT photography, go on a date. Do whatever you might feel will relax your mind, will calm you down. Because, once you are relaxed, ideas start to flow. Atleast, that’s what I do whenever I feel a little pressurized by the “business of photography”, if I may. You’ll notice a drastic and positive change in your photography when you learn how to relax that mind of yours. I speak from personal experience; just wanted to share this here so that anyone who feels lost and doesn’t quite know how to improve their work can understand fairly clearly, how exactly to do that. Improving one’s work, be it any creative genre has actually got nothing to do with that exact art-form. Rather, inspiration must be derived from something else; anything which you might think can inspire you.

I have given up thinking about how much money I have been earning or what my family thinks about my profession, or what everyone thinks of me. Instead, I just create pictures because I love doing so. And by love, I really mean I LOVE it! That passion, that love for photography is something which I cannot even begin to describe in words. So, if you want to get into photography professionally, for only fame & money, trust me, you’d get nowhere. You need to first understand that photography in itself is something which you do for your own satisfaction rather than filling your pockets with dough or to satisfy people who, perhaps, do not even care about photography at all.  As for me, I feel really good that I am in a profession which, perhaps, many of us dream of but only a handful of us have the guts to go ahead and actually do what we’ve wanted to do all our lives. For, regret is something which I do NOT want to have. 🙂

Happy clicking.


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