After all these years in the photographic industry I've got an amazing collection of prints and personal posters. One my favorites is Steve McCurry's Afghan Girl. It's an amazing image and long before I met Steve, I always thought of it as one of the most incredible portraits ever captured.
If you know Steve or have heard him speak, nobody could be more down to earth. His passion for photography is only topped by his humility. The best part of the image is that we all know he wasn't trying to create one of the most recognizable portraits in the history of photography. It just happened - and, it happened on film, without any manipulation, major retouch work - nothing but a photographer who knew his craft.
So, as you photograph your next job, think about the traits that produced Afghan Girl. Steve wasn't trying to do anything except tell a story. He understands photography cold, so his understanding of lighting, exposure and composition were completely second nature. He didn't have hours in a studio to ponder how he would create one of the greatest portraits of all time.
And that's my biggest point - when you look for something too hard, it will continue to elude you. Relax your vision and learn everything you can about photography, hang on to every dream and just keep shooting - your own version of Afghan Girl will be in your portfolio sooner or later!
"The starting point of great success and achievement has always been the same. It is for you to dream big dreams. There is nothing more important, and nothing that works faster than for you to cast off your own limitations than for you to begin dreaming and fantasizing about the wonderful things that you can become, have, and do. "
Brian Tracy, Motivational Coach and Author
So, relax! As good buddy Matthew Jordan Smith says, "Always Dream BIG" and don't compromise!
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.