by Skip Cohen
Ever notice how the photographers we admire the most have certain characteristics that help secure their position and make them both iconic and legendary? One of those is their ability to hold focus. I love talking about holding focus, because it’s such a pathetic pun on both the techniques you use in capturing an image and a trait that great photographers seem to have in the way they address their craft.
Think about the intensity of any great photographer you admire. Each one is able to hold focus on whatever they’re doing. John Sexton, John Paul Caponigro, Scott Bourne, Kevin Kubota, Lori Nordstrom, Bobbi Lane, Matthew Jordan Smith, Brian Smith, Michele Celentano, just to name a few of my favorites – they all hold focus. They all multi-task, but manage to stay focused on projects, concepts and actions until they’re completed.
Like a great chef, they stay focused until the meal is served and then move onto the next dish. They don’t walk away in the middle to do something else and leave you hanging, wondering what’s next.
I’ve met so many new photographers over the years who are overwhelmed with how much they need to learn that they panic and flounder. They jump from one project to the next, never mastering any of the most important skills, but becoming masters of mediocrity.
Successful photographers hold their focus and if it’s something you can’t seem to do, then as simple as it sounds, step back and analyze each step you’re taking to be a professional. Maybe you just need help from somebody with more experience. Maybe you need to attend a workshop or just the local chapter meeting of professional photographers like yourself. Maybe you need to start over and just slow things down a little. Are you committed to being a professional photographer?
Business author, Jim Collins wrote,
“The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do, an unwavering desire for excellence in the way they think and the way they work. Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step.”
Illustration Credit: © Stephen Coburn - 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.