Thursday, July 8, 2010

365 Project - Day 298 - Falling Hazard

Day 298

Today, while looking for subject to shoot, I was thinking about 'what the first image I ever shot' was. I'll get to the reason 'why' shortly, but in the process, I saw the above sign and knew I needed to photograph it for today's image. While it's only the warning on the side of a dumpster, the significance of the sign in respects to a photography career is what caught my attention.

Falling [Failing] Hazard

     No matter where you are in your career, I'm sure you have seen warning signs about failing. Whether you are trying to make the leap from hobbyist to amateur, part-time to full-time, nature to pet photographer, or expanding your residential gallery into a stand alone studio, there are many hurdles between you and your goal.
Fear of failing [falling] is a reality, but should not prevent you from trying to achieve your goals and dreams. Every warning sign you see is to help you, not discourage you. With the right, help navigating those tricky dumpsters can be less of a daunting task.

Caution, Keep Clear!

     Simply put, other have attempted this. Some have failed, but just as many others have become successful, according to their own definition of success. Take a lesson from those who have been here before by possibly finding a mentor to learn from. Just remember having a mentor is a two way street, you have to give something back. Additionally, there are many blogs worth reading to learn from like GoingPro2010, Skip's Photo Network, Photo Focus, Chase Jarvis Blog, and Strobist to name a few. The web is full of tutorials on building you technical knowledge to advance in your career and climb your dumpster.

     For hands-on learning attend workshops and seminars to learn other ways to climb on top of your career, that you may not have explored previous. Going back to the 'why' I was thinking of 'the first image I ever shot' was because I read that suggestion on Matthew Jordan Smith' blog. This was a tip on finding your creative spark and drawing from it. Matthew is coming to Akron, Ohio, of all places, on his Your Creative Experience Tour, which will be a great opportunity to learn more about lighting, client interaction, getting published and more.

Falling stick figure

     The falling stick figure should represent you not falling alone. While it is not impossible to get back up on your own, getting through frustration or a slip with the help of friends offers more rewards. Or even better, a friend in your career who can, possible, step in and keep things running smoothly for you while you dust the dirt off.

     When I was describing this post to my wife, after I showed her the image, and she gave me that look like 'Ok, it's a dumpster sign...?!' I used the metaphor of skate boarders taking a spill off their boards. In the videos, you generally see someone with the main rider (obviously the one holding the video camera too). Then, once the rider eventually falls and breaks a leg, wrist, arm, or sprain his groin, someone is always there to help the fallen rider up and summon an ambulance. That is the kind of network we need to build around us.

     You are not in this career alone, and the sooner you start networking and building relationships with your fellow photographer the better. Conferences like Skip's Summer School, WPPI, Imaging USA, and others are great places to build networks across the country. As well as learn from Pro's who have already been in your shoes and passed similar obstacles. This 365 challenge started at Skip's Summer School 2009, with Tasra Dawson and Scott Bourne over a dinner. Because of that alone, I cannot wait to see what comes out of Summer School 2010. Seriously, $239 [until August 1st], in Vegas, incredible speaker lineup, representatives from various vendors, a lighting lab, $79 rooms, and free WIFI...that is a good deal to take advantage of.

Thanks for reading through this long post. Now, go conqueror your Dumpster!


Ja mata,