10 things every photographer should know – Part One

Sometimes colleagues send me interesting pieces from other practitioners and I found the one by US Photographer, Chase Jarvis, extremely interesting and suitable for adaption for the UK & Europe. Originally inspired by his friend and colleague Guy Kawasaki’s article entitled “What I learned from Steve Jobs.” This piece is really not only food for thought but perhaps, a bit of a ‘How To’ for success in our industry. I have added my own notes in italics too, so here goes…
“Here is a list of 10 things I’ve learned the hard way that every photographer, designer, creative–hell, every creative person–should know”.
1. Experts are NOT the answer.
The blogs, the teachers, the mentors, the seminars are not the answer. They’re not there to tell you exactly what you need to know. If they’re good, then they are there to give you some ideas, some guidelines, or some *rules to learn and subsequently break. This isn’t about the expert, it’s about you. In creative pursuits especially…what’s going on inside you is where the answers can be found. Hear what experts say, but don’t always listen to them.
Never more true words here in part. The worldwide industry is plagued with those who have been in it for five minutes and resort to teaching, often diluted, second-hand or at worst, incorrect material to make easy money from information hungry aspiring photographers. There is most certainly not an in depth understanding of the various learning styles so well researched and documented by leading sociologists. All learning resources, be they face to face or internet must take the learning styles into account. One cannot possibly learn all they need to know online no matter how evangelistic or convincing the sales pitch. I’ll repeat this Ad Nauseum. “Get a Mentor” who will interact with you face to face. There’s nothing better.
* Rules? What rules? I contend strongly that there are definitive laws of Physics in Photography governing the behaviour of light. After that there’s just a whole lot of jumbled notions of multifarious interpretations, the list of those notions or ideas are mostly ‘borrowed’  from the art world and other historical sources to help explain composition, colour theory or aesthetics.

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