It's another typical Sunday morning and I've got a specific goal today with a topic near and dear to all of us. Simply put, stop making excuses!
"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses!"
George Washington Carver
I was at Polaroid for almost 17 years, Hasselblad for 12 and Rangefinder/WPPI for 7. All along the way I saw the same thing happen when projects didn't work out the way we expected. Whoever owned the majority of the project would proclaim, "...but we learned a lot!" At Polaroid, because everything was done by committee, you could rarely find anybody to even take responsibility. Everybody would point fingers at each other instead of taking the time to regroup, figure out what went wrong and then make it work. At least at Hasselblad and Rangefinder somebody took ownership.
"Come on Skip, what's your point?"
Stop making excuses and just pick a new path. I've heard photographers say, "If only I had..." then they branch out into "new gear", "the right lens", " a beautiful studio", "more money" and the list goes on and on. You've got to work with what you've got and for most of the great artists in our industry, creativity grows the less they have, because they're committed to finding solutions.
Vincent Laforet spoke at one of the Skip's Summer Schools three years ago and talked about not having any of the right gear when he started. "When I didn't have a long enough lens, I just moved in closer!" Even when he created "Reverie" six years ago with the, then new, Canon 5D Mark II, he talked about having none of the right editing gear and did it all with no post movie processing. It's worth watching if you've never seen it - "Reverie" was groundbreaking and a great example of Vincent's passion for creativity!
So, on this gorgeous Sunday morning, I'm suggesting you take a little time today and think about the amazing career path you've chosen. Give yourself a big pat for what you've accomplished with or without the "right gear". Think about all you've learned so far, instead of what you don't know yet.
You know how to focus your camera, now it's time to think about the focus on your marketing efforts, your skill set and your network. Passion requires no excuses and so often when something doesn't work out the way I want it to Sheila will hear me say, "You know what I should have done?"
Her response is always the same, "Don't should on yourself!"
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.