When we start learning about photography, there’s so much to grasp: from basic camera settings to lighting, composition, editing… However, there are some things no one teaches us, and it’s how to make our work meaningful and how to keep ourselves happy and fulfilled as photographers. In this video, Adam Karnacz of First Man Photography discusses five things no one teaches you about photography, and they will surely make you think.
There is no one genre to rule them all
I don’t know if it’s just my impression and the fact that I’m living in the Balkans, but the society doesn’t seem to support being more things at once. Similarly, people pressure you to shoot a specific genre of photography and stay within its boundaries.
However, there is no “one genre to rule them all.” It’s important to explore different genres of photography, especially in the beginning. Even when you discover the genre you like most and dedicate yourself to it, it’s still good to explore other kinds of photography to stay sharp and inspired. After all, you can combine the knowledge from other genres to get the best out of your shots, no matter what you photograph. Remember, you don’t need to restrict yourself, especially if you do photography for fun!
It gets boring, fast!
Don’t worry, photography itself doesn’t get boring fast. However, the conversation about it might, no matter how much you love it. As Adam points out, it often turns into gear talk, repeating the same conversation patterns: lenses, sensors, car slots, f-stops… If you’re anything like me, you’ll start checking your watch and yawning the moment someone starts this conversation.
However, we can shift it from “how” to “why” and talk about photography in a deeper, more profound way. Talking about the value and emotion of photography creates meaningful and interesting conversations that will inspire you and you won’t feel as if your time was wasted.
Don’t be a douchebag
There is a fine line between being classy and pretentious. Adam points out that it’s easy to slip into one of two extremes, especially when you talk about your own work: you either belittle yourself or everyone else.
Adam likes to maintain a practical approach. He celebrates the success but moves on to the next task quickly. This kind of approach will help you keep yourself motivated and you won’t have too much time to overthink your work instead of actually creating it.
There’s more to life than…
It’s important to understand what your incentive is, what drives you into creating, as well as understanding the value of what you’re doing. However, if money is your only incentive, it will most likely not make you happy. The meaning of your creating should be beyond just earning money. You should spend your time wisely and create the work that you love, and the opportunities and money will come as a result.
This is not the experience I am looking for
Related to the previous point, you should think about the experience you have while doing photography versus the result you get. If you’re only focused on getting the perfect result each time, it can spoil the enjoyment of the experience. And as corny as it may sound, it’s really not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Both in photography and in life. So, you should focus on the process itself, enjoy it, pay attention to what you’re doing so you can learn from both successes and mistakes. As hard as it may get, you really should be present in the moment instead of just focusing on the end result and missing everything you could learn and experience until you get to it.
[What Nobody Teaches You About Photography | First Man Photography]