contributing

Putting Yourself Out There - Showing Your Work

For me this was one of my biggest struggles when I was first starting out as a photographer and believe me it was an ongoing inner battle, I was nervous!  What will other people think of my work? Will they say it sucks? Will they like it?

I was THAT guy who would only show my work to friends and family and of course the feedback was always good, which in hindsight was more of a hindrance than help when I look back on it now.  Showing your work to your family and friends is one thing, they are not going to tell you your work sucks are they? They are going to say the things they think you want to hear which doesn’t benefit you in any way, shape or form.

It’s very tough to put yourself out there, seemingly on display and sharing your work with a bunch of strangers. You feel vulnerable, naked and alone!  After all, this is something you created from scratch you put your heart and soul into this. Everybody is a critic, everyone has something to say. It takes a lot of courage. You are worried about being judged, what will everyone say about you’re work, I get it! You are going to get deflated and knocked down but you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and grab your camera and make more photographs.

You have to reach way down within and find the courage to get your work seen.  Get as many eyes on it as possible!  That way you find out what you need to work on and know which areas you need to improve.  There will always be areas you can improve on even after years of being a photographer and just as in regular life you are NEVER EVER finished learning.

One of my past photography teachers reached out to me recently and we were talking and he said: “…as artists, we thrive on encouragement. It's like the tide, when it's in it feels good and when it’s out, it can be damn lonely!” His words rang in my head for days afterwards. This really struck a chord in me and if you are reading this right now, you know who you are. Thank you for all your words of encouragement as of late, they mean a lot to me.

So people don’t give up!  Keep consistently putting your work out there. Yes, it is definitely not an easy thing to do but it IS necessary!

 

Photo courtesy of Linda Langerak

Workshops - Learning, Sharing, Shooting

When considering whether or not to attend a workshop, a lot of factors contribute to the ultimate decision of attending. They are a great way to expand your network as there will undoubtedly be other like-minded people to speak with, to share knowledge with and of course the obvious, to learn! Do I? or Don’t I? Of course the first one is cost followed by content followed by a series of questions: How will it benefit me? How long is the workshop? and who is giving the workshop?
When the Peter Hurley “Illuminating the Face” workshop was announced for Toronto, well that was a no brainer! I knew I had to attend as I had been waiting some time for this one to come to town. It took place back in March and this was an incredible opportunity to learn from the best in the industry. How could I possibly pass that up!? I figured I wasn’t going to get many chances to actually get to interact, to learn from him. I had to take advantage of being up close and personal with the one and only Peter Hurley. I found the cost to be incredibly reasonable. The location was right here in Toronto, so getting there was easy. The time commitment was only an 8 hour day. This was without a doubt something I had to do.
The workshop was put on by Henry’s Camera and they did an incredible job. I would like to say a huge thanks to them for putting this on. The workshop was also sponsored by Profoto and I have to say their gear is absolutely incredible, so easy to use and easy to work with. Their reps were so friendly and helpful.
It was an absolutely incredible day all around. It was a full, jam packed eight hour day where I got to learn from the master of headshots. I got to meet a ton of great people. Perhaps some of the nicest people I have ever met. Peter Hurley was such an incredible teacher. So easy to talk to, down to earth and just an all-around incredibly nice guy. It was such an invaluable experience I will never forget.

Body and Self Image - A Very Serious Issue

What do you see when you look at YOURSELF in the mirror? Do you see beauty? Do you like what you see? Or do you see FAT, UGLY…DIRTY?

We all deal with self and body image concerns but that seed of self-doubt and negativity had to be planted at some time in our lives and sometimes these things take a bit of time to emerge. This isn’t even isolated to adults and is happening with our children more and more.

We need to deal with this incredibly serious matter early on, nip it in the bud! It’s imperative we start with our children and youth. There are many contributing factors and I don’t think it can be attributed to just one. Bullying, lack of parenting, mentorship at school and responsibility in the media are most likely at the root of this controversy.

We all live in a day and age where we are literally and constantly bombarded with imagery, sound bites, texts, tweets and information, or in a lot of cases misinformation, every minute of every day. It is next to impossible to filter out all this noise. All of this information is accessible with such ease and speed that was never possible before.

I am not here to blame anybody for what seems to have become a pandemic in society, rather offer some suggestion as to how we can all pitch in and do our part to confront the problem as a collective so we can at least begin to unravel this quandary. We need to educate our kids at home! We need to talk to them! Let them know it’s not the norm to look like these super skinny models they see on TV, in magazines and on the web. Dads tell your daughters that you like curves on a woman! Moms tell your daughters what you like about yourself! It’s not easy but we have to ask what kind of example are we setting? Are we pushing what we want our body image to be on our children? We spend so much time teaching our children manners and how to share but did we forget to teach our children to love themselves!? Do you make comments about people when you see them on TV or in the street?

It is perfectly alright to look different, to be different. Learn to love yourself for who and the way YOU are! We need to stop hurting other people, whether it be physically or verbally! It is not ok and will not and should not be tolerated under any circumstance. Teach them there will be consequences for their actions. Words can do more damage than the physical can.

This problem is not going to disappear over-night nor will it fix itself or go away all on its own. I truly believe we can make a noticeable difference. After all, the children and youth of today are the future of our world tomorrow. What do you want your children’s tomorrow to be like?

 

Signed,

A concerned parent.

 

Image courtesy of teenagebodyimageandselfesteem.weebly.com