Stop paddling backwards

Sometimes, when I review a photographer’s work and identify their hero shots I am met with an incredulous look.

‘But how can that be my hero work? It’s so easy for me!’

No shit Sherlock.

It may come as a shock, but doing what you love, especially if you’ve been doing it for a while, can be a breeze.

You know that feeling. You’re in the flow. In your zone of genius.

Call it what you like, but when you’re shooting in a way that you love, it comes as naturally to you as flipping on a light switch. Time flies and before you know it you’ve been shooting for hours and you didn’t even notice except that the talent starts wilting, or the light starts disappearing, and your tummy’s rumbling.

If you think you have to work really, really hard to achieve your natural style, you’re either a beginner or you’re fighting your natural ability and probably trying to be something you’re not.

You’re paddling backwards.

Maybe someone once told you that earning money required damn hard work. Perhaps you were warned that survival as a photographer will be very difficult. Deep down you might not think you deserve to have things come to you easily.

Sheesh, there are plenty of things that do make life tough for photographers.

Finding clients.

Marketing.

Sales.

Copyright management.

Riding the rollercoaster of a freelance lifestyle.

Paying for gear.

Paying for more gear.

And sure, it’s a good idea to experiment with new equipment and different approaches.

But for goodness sake don’t lose sight of who you are as a photographer. That’s the easy, fun bit.