by Skip Cohen
I first read the expression on a sign in front of a church in Akron years ago. but think about it as it applies to being a photographer and artist. You have to have faith in yourself. You have to believe in what you’re doing. You have to understand not only the craft, but the human spirit. And, it’s the human spirit that should be at the top of your list.
The definition of an ultimate photograph is one that moves people. You can’t move people and create images that tug at their hearts if you’re not comfortable with your own heart. So, it all becomes sort of obvious – it’s faith in yourself that creates confidence and builds your strength of character and gets your heart where it should be.
So, if the world around you has filled you with a little doubt now and then and challenges your faith as an artist, then how about thinking about the following:
Nobody can teach you to have faith in yourself – that church slogan is dead-on in that it’s caught, not taught. So, how to catch it and keep it? Stay focused on your career path and your subjects. Learn every possible technique you can. Make it a point to understand photography before you push the shutter button. Know your gear – know your lighting – know your lab – know your clients. And never ever compromise on quality!
So from Edward Steichen:
"Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man."
And from Harry Callahan:
"I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting!"
Illustration credit: © Creativa - Fotolia.com
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.