Do You Have Enough Talent In Your Tank to be a Photographer? - Digital Photography School

Do You Have Enough Talent In Your Tank to be a Photographer?

A Guest Post by Michael Adams

fuel-tank.jpeg
Your mom says you have talent. Your friends think you’re amazing. Your photos get lots of likes.

You even had a show at the local coffee shop although you didn’t sell one 5×7.

At some point, you wonder if you have what it takes. Do you have enough talent? Do you have enough gas in the tank? Could you be a professional photographer. Could you actually get paid for doing what you love?

Or, maybe you’ve been doing this awhile. You’re a pro but you’re wondering if you have anything left in the tank. Can you make you’re work fresh. Can you reinvent yourself. Do you have any talent left?

We speak of talent like a finite resource. This person has 5 gallons of talent. That person, being more talented, was given 10 gallons. You either have it or you don’t. You’re blessed with photographic talent or you’re not. You have reserves or you’re running low and there is no Costco station in sight.

This the thing about talent: it’s overrated and of infinite supply.

Your mom calls you talented because she wants you to feel special. You are special but that’s another post. Your friends say you’re talented because they want you to buy them a drink. Your Facebook friends like your photos because they want you to like their photos.

We’re all born with talent, each in our own way.  It’s our unique and beautiful voice. Call it God. Call it your highest self. Call it your creative muse. It’s there. Over the years, for various reasons, that voice gets buried.

Talent is being connected to that voice. Talent is listening and acting from that voice. Talent is doing your what from your why.

Whether you’re new or experienced, if you keep hearing your voice, if people photography is fun and fulfilling, then you’re talented.

Now, are you talented enough? Is your inner voice loud enough? Will you listen enough? Do you have the courage to act on your voice? Can you face fear and still move forward?

I don’t know. Neither do you. Neither does your mom and moms know just about everything.

Do it anyway. Take the next step. 

Do it because it’s fun. Do it because the world needs more beauty. Do it because your inner voice is too loud and you can’t get to sleep.

Act before you’re ready because regret sucks.

Michael Adams has been a portrait photographer for 25 years. With the growing need for DSLR education and photography business education, he started mamarazziworkshops.com and beaphotographer.biz recently.

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  • http://photographedbykhidrastevens.wordpress.com/ Khidra

    Thank you, awesome post! I love what you said:

    “Do it because it’s fun. Do it because the world needs more beauty. Do it because your inner voice is too loud and you can’t get to sleep”.

    That’s exactly how I felt, and I am having fun so much fun with my new hobby!

  • Mahesh R

    well-written, inspiring piece….

  • Geoff

    From someone who has taken up photography late in life, many thanks for the encouragement.

  • http://www.beaphotographer.biz Michael Adams

    Drea, You might enjoy Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers. Lousyshot, Especially for people pursuing art, that question does not go away. Read Pressfield’s The War of Art. I’ll leave a comment. Christina, I agree and I like what Stephen King said of criticisms: If 80% of the people say you suck, you might want to reevaluate. If not, keep going (my interpretation of his words). Gina, Thanks! Maria, Whether you are a photographer, writer, sculptor… you will never appeal to everyone. Follow your voice, hone your craft… and you will find people that are willing to pay handsomely for your work. Parrot40, Join a photography club or association in your area. Go to the meetings, ask for feedback and brace yourself. Some of those comments will hurt, some will help and some will do both.

  • A K Dinanath

    It inspires you to move forward,irrespective of the consequences.

  • Marco

    @jessie flores — Keep at it if you love it. The XTi is plenty good enough. If you upgrade anything, do the lenses first. A Canon L series lens is worth every penny and will greatly improve the performance of the XTi. Only after the lens should you get a better camera like the 7D.

  • http://www.beaphotographer.biz Michael Adams

    @Khidra, Thanks and keep doing what you’re doing. @mahesh r, thank you. @geoff, I didn’t take it up late in life, but I’m on the back nine and I feel you. Practice and focus your work. I admire anybody that pursues their passion later in life. Well done. If you’re ever in the LA/Santa Barbara area, look me up and let’s have a chat. Cheers to you. @Marco. Good advice. @jessie flores, if it were me, I would start with a 50 1.4 and a 70-200 4.0, best bang for the buck.

  • http://www.discover-chartres.com Feily

    Great post and very motivating!

    “Whether you’re new or experienced, if you keep hearing your voice, if people photography is fun and fulfilling, then you’re talented.”

    I think this works also for other talents.

  • http://www.suburbanmisfit.com Wendy

    Great post! I’ve been wondering about this question myself. I have a photography blog, but after working a 45 hour a week job, I feel drained and stressed about coming up with something inspiring. I like the idea of just having fun with it. Thanks for posting!

  • Barb B

    Though I would change the article’s title to “Do You Have Enough Talent to MAKE IT as a Photographer”- it’s a wonderfully truthful article followed by many honest, bring it home comments. I believe most serious shooters reading this believes they are photographers, it’s a matter of making money at it, as a career, that separates us. I totally relate with Allan Cox’s side- us landscape perfectionists may very well be good enough to make money if we will ever be satisfied. If we have a good business side, and are confident/arrogant enough to put it out there and have the time to devote to selling ourselves. However my recent reality checks, knowing my personality, my age and family priorities- brings the conclusion that I do this for me, it is my passion and fulfillment. I will continually strive to improve. But making it a business would surely take a good portion of the enjoyment away. Fortunately I’m not needing this for a career. But I am confident to know I am a photographer.

  • http://www.beaphotographer.biz Michael Adams

    @Feily, Thanks and you’re right. @Wendy, Nothing wrong with fun. If that little voice in your head says “start making some money with your photography”, then be open to the idea. @barb b, good idea on the title change:} Perfectionism – not ready to put your work out there because it’s not good enough – is fear, fear that people won’t buy your work, like your work, will laugh at your work… If you don’t have a drive or a voice saying “put you’re work out there, that is something different, a photo of a different color. However, if you do have that voice and are not putting yourself out there, it’s fear that is stopping you. It might have different colors on top, but it’s fear beneath the surface. My point is that life is too short not to deal with that fear because regret sucks.

  • http://www.bestexposures.com Jason

    Those who do, do. Those who dream of doing, should. Those who try but can’t get it right, shouldn’t.

    This article was about motivating people to go out there and take a chance, to get over your fear and accomplish your dreams. If your dream is to be a photographer – go for it.

    But at the same time, try to be smart about it. If you are the only one that thinks your photos are good, keep practicing for now. Don’t quit a six figure job to follow your photography passion. But, if you can make a good living at it, you should.

    And if you are in the Chicago area, I would love to discuss it with you further- I am looking for a few back up photographers.

    J

  • Sharon Young

    The main point of this post (at least in my heart) is that one must follow their dream/passion, or at least TRY. Otherwise, one will look back on the missed opportunities, the opened doors that were passed and regret not having done so – and Michael, you’re 100% correct – Regret DOES suck!

  • http://danieluptonphotography.com.au Daniel Upton (aspiring wedding photographer)
  • Sharon Young

    I agree w/ Daniel w/ regards 2 the technical end of this spectrum. In my opinion, knowing the proper steps to take (or even knowing where 2 start/who 2 contact) plays the biggest role in whether or not one is succesful as a photographer. I’ve seen my share of pros as well as amateurs and have seen breath-taking work – by an amateur – and 4 that reason alone, this person is not even considered 4 any possible opportunities. That’s why I like this site! Because we’re ALL treated equally & w/ respect – regardless of whether we’re talented at photography, (serious professionals as well as “Hobbyists”).

  • http://www.whitepetal.co.uk Paul

    Wise words indeed, I work as a wedding photographer and need to make an effort to go out and shoot for fun!

  • Kelley Candee

    Very encouraging! and right on time…. Thank you Michael..

  • Tom Hood

    agree whole heartedly

  • PJ

    Thank you for the post, I felt your words very encouraging. ;)

  • http://arjunkarthaphotography.com/ Arjun Kartha

    This is brilliant. The flip side? Photographers with absolutely no talent, but who manage to get by anyway – because their talent just happens to be good marketing!

  • Jen

    I think having a dream or desire to be a photographer is wonderful. If you have a talent, regardless of age you should act on it. Actually making it a career that supports you is a totally separate animal.
    I’d say do it for a hobby, enjoy it first for at least a couple years. Do not quit your day job, do not invest in tons of equipment. If after a couple years if people are begging you to take their photos or display work in their gallery then you should move forward to making it a career.

  • Jen

    Experience is your best school. Instead of spending money on courses just do it. Take photos of everything..people, places, animals. ..etc. You learn by mistakes better than any course can teach you. Read your camera’s manual and learn the basics of how it works also.

  • chrysmarty

    I dont know if I am talented. I just want to share with others the way I see things. I love showing details that other wise go un-noticed. I don’t mean macro but rather the little things beside a majestic mountain. I do it becuase I love doing it. I have never attempted to sell anything, but love giving photo’s for gifts.

Some older comments

  • Paul

    April 8, 2012 06:52 pm

    Wise words indeed, I work as a wedding photographer and need to make an effort to go out and shoot for fun!

  • Sharon Young

    April 4, 2012 06:26 am

    I agree w/ Daniel w/ regards 2 the technical end of this spectrum. In my opinion, knowing the proper steps to take (or even knowing where 2 start/who 2 contact) plays the biggest role in whether or not one is succesful as a photographer. I've seen my share of pros as well as amateurs and have seen breath-taking work - by an amateur - and 4 that reason alone, this person is not even considered 4 any possible opportunities. That's why I like this site! Because we're ALL treated equally & w/ respect - regardless of whether we're talented at photography, (serious professionals as well as "Hobbyists").

  • Sharon Young

    April 3, 2012 05:20 am

    The main point of this post (at least in my heart) is that one must follow their dream/passion, or at least TRY. Otherwise, one will look back on the missed opportunities, the opened doors that were passed and regret not having done so - and Michael, you're 100% correct - Regret DOES suck!

  • Jason

    April 3, 2012 03:44 am

    Those who do, do. Those who dream of doing, should. Those who try but can't get it right, shouldn't.

    This article was about motivating people to go out there and take a chance, to get over your fear and accomplish your dreams. If your dream is to be a photographer - go for it.

    But at the same time, try to be smart about it. If you are the only one that thinks your photos are good, keep practicing for now. Don't quit a six figure job to follow your photography passion. But, if you can make a good living at it, you should.

    And if you are in the Chicago area, I would love to discuss it with you further- I am looking for a few back up photographers.

    J

  • Michael Adams

    April 2, 2012 11:52 pm

    @Feily, Thanks and you're right. @Wendy, Nothing wrong with fun. If that little voice in your head says "start making some money with your photography", then be open to the idea. @barb b, good idea on the title change:} Perfectionism - not ready to put your work out there because it's not good enough - is fear, fear that people won't buy your work, like your work, will laugh at your work... If you don't have a drive or a voice saying "put you're work out there, that is something different, a photo of a different color. However, if you do have that voice and are not putting yourself out there, it's fear that is stopping you. It might have different colors on top, but it's fear beneath the surface. My point is that life is too short not to deal with that fear because regret sucks.

  • Barb B

    April 2, 2012 02:40 am

    Though I would change the article's title to "Do You Have Enough Talent to MAKE IT as a Photographer"- it's a wonderfully truthful article followed by many honest, bring it home comments. I believe most serious shooters reading this believes they are photographers, it's a matter of making money at it, as a career, that separates us. I totally relate with Allan Cox's side- us landscape perfectionists may very well be good enough to make money if we will ever be satisfied. If we have a good business side, and are confident/arrogant enough to put it out there and have the time to devote to selling ourselves. However my recent reality checks, knowing my personality, my age and family priorities- brings the conclusion that I do this for me, it is my passion and fulfillment. I will continually strive to improve. But making it a business would surely take a good portion of the enjoyment away. Fortunately I'm not needing this for a career. But I am confident to know I am a photographer.

  • Wendy

    April 1, 2012 08:01 am

    Great post! I've been wondering about this question myself. I have a photography blog, but after working a 45 hour a week job, I feel drained and stressed about coming up with something inspiring. I like the idea of just having fun with it. Thanks for posting!

  • Feily

    March 31, 2012 07:54 pm

    Great post and very motivating!

    "Whether you’re new or experienced, if you keep hearing your voice, if people photography is fun and fulfilling, then you’re talented."

    I think this works also for other talents.

  • Michael Adams

    March 31, 2012 01:19 pm

    @Khidra, Thanks and keep doing what you're doing. @mahesh r, thank you. @geoff, I didn't take it up late in life, but I'm on the back nine and I feel you. Practice and focus your work. I admire anybody that pursues their passion later in life. Well done. If you're ever in the LA/Santa Barbara area, look me up and let's have a chat. Cheers to you. @Marco. Good advice. @jessie flores, if it were me, I would start with a 50 1.4 and a 70-200 4.0, best bang for the buck.

  • Marco

    March 31, 2012 04:05 am

    @jessie flores -- Keep at it if you love it. The XTi is plenty good enough. If you upgrade anything, do the lenses first. A Canon L series lens is worth every penny and will greatly improve the performance of the XTi. Only after the lens should you get a better camera like the 7D.

  • A K Dinanath

    March 31, 2012 03:39 am

    It inspires you to move forward,irrespective of the consequences.

  • Michael Adams

    March 31, 2012 03:11 am

    Drea, You might enjoy Malcom Gladwell's Outliers. Lousyshot, Especially for people pursuing art, that question does not go away. Read Pressfield's The War of Art. I'll leave a comment. Christina, I agree and I like what Stephen King said of criticisms: If 80% of the people say you suck, you might want to reevaluate. If not, keep going (my interpretation of his words). Gina, Thanks! Maria, Whether you are a photographer, writer, sculptor... you will never appeal to everyone. Follow your voice, hone your craft... and you will find people that are willing to pay handsomely for your work. Parrot40, Join a photography club or association in your area. Go to the meetings, ask for feedback and brace yourself. Some of those comments will hurt, some will help and some will do both.

  • Geoff

    March 30, 2012 09:37 pm

    From someone who has taken up photography late in life, many thanks for the encouragement.

  • Mahesh R

    March 30, 2012 06:52 pm

    well-written, inspiring piece....

  • Khidra

    March 30, 2012 06:41 pm

    Thank you, awesome post! I love what you said:

    "Do it because it’s fun. Do it because the world needs more beauty. Do it because your inner voice is too loud and you can’t get to sleep".

    That's exactly how I felt, and I am having fun so much fun with my new hobby!

  • Michael Adams

    March 30, 2012 03:17 pm

    David, Great idea! Yazid and Susan, Glad I could help and be bold enough to make yourself uncomfortable. Allan, I agree, in part. Most of my successful photographer friends, those that live out of their photographic center and make money with their work, have more of an understated confidence and a willingness to improve and move on than arrogance. What I find is that lack of confidence and willingness to "suffer the slings and arrows" is the problem. Thanks for doing what you do. Average Joe, Thanks. Your wonder will not stop. Do it anyway. Natalie, as independent artists we need some "you can do it" and some practical steps. I appreciate your confidence in my post. You might also find Stephen Pressfield's The War of Art and Do The Work helpful. Keep going. Sarah, Well said and very true! Jessie, Thanks. If you took 400 and kept 27, you're doing better than I am. Keep up the good work. Christy, Do your morning pages. It's the first thing I do each day. You might also want to consider "creative ways" to develop your team and get help with the headaches business and website stuff. Also, be open to the idea that you might soon enjoy the stuff that gave you headaches. Rich O, You have an eye for writing; you picked out two of my favorite sentences also. You might find the Artist Way by Julia Cameron helpful in developing a positive flow state of creativity and not always fighting it. Otti, Very true. Not only hard work but the right work given your voice. William, Thanks! Bee, You're killing me:} You gave me goose bumps. Thanks so much. Keep going and you are talented! Jason, no doubt. The journey is rarely a straight right. My point is to pay attention to your inner voice, act, listen and act again. Thanks for your comment and every discussion needs a devils advocate. Thanks. Daryl, The one that wins is the one that follows their voice. It takes time. Sometimes it takes narrowing your focus. Too often photographers try to be all things to all people. If you listen closely to your voice and act, you might find a niche that matches your voice and is profitable. I never said it was easy, just worth it:} Thanks all for your comments.

  • Kathy

    March 30, 2012 02:45 pm

    At first, I thought that this would be more of one of those articles that bash or judge people. Instead, it was the complete opposite. I really like this, especially the last line :]

  • Daryl

    March 30, 2012 02:26 pm

    In my experience people have a mixed bag of talent and guts. Some talent-free photographers succeed because they're out there promoting themselves and taking the pictures. The general public isn't very discerning sometimes.. Meanwhile some very talented photographers fail because they don't have the marketing skills.

    I admit I fall into the later group. I don't charge for services because I consider what I do to be a hobby. I've seen soccer-moms go out and buy a Canon Rebel and an inkjet printer and start a sport photography business. Maybe it only lasted one or two seasons, but she made money while I gave my pictures away.

    There is a huge movement away from pro photographers for weddings, because of the economy, and the proliferation of talented amateurs. In the end, the ones with guts will win, not necessarily the ones with the most talent.

  • Jason

    March 30, 2012 01:59 pm

    Let me play devils advocate for a moment. Let's be pragmatic for a moment. I would venture to say that 99.9 percent of us on this post have talent (realized or not) - but don't be fooled there are those who want to be good - try to be good - invest in the best equipment, work on it day and night and will never be good at this. I realized this first while working as a flight instructor. I had a student all the other flight indtuctors refused to work with. This kid tried real hard but while most students soloed by 15-20 hours - this kid was over 160 hours and was no where near ready. The guy memorized every word in over two dozen books - he could recite the entire 14th code of federal regulations or CFR's which govern aviation. But when it came time to fly he had no talent. I got to see this again first hand when I decided to expand my photography business. I saw a kid trying really hard and elwanted me to hire him as a wedding photographer but I just couldn't. I offered him the opportunity to tag along with his camera and I would teach him - but he just couldn't get it. I had to let him go.

    I'm not trying to take the steam out of anyone's sails but before you invest 35,000 dollars in equipment, quit your high paying job to become a photographer, or buy that 100th book or enroll in yet another seminar - let me say this: The universe has a funny way of telling you what you should be doing. If you work real hard and things happen for you, or fall into place after awhile that's great. But if you keep trying and just can't move forward try doing what comes maturely to you. After all that flight student went through - he decided to be an accountant and I hear is doing extremely well. He loves planes - but he will never fly one

  • bee

    March 30, 2012 12:10 pm

    hi im 15 and recently have been researching career oportunites and i know that i am interested in photography and journalism and now that i read this post i know that i should take the chance and actually shoot for a career that i want and not what my teachers think that i will be.. i am talented..im a photographer

  • William

    March 30, 2012 11:54 am

    I love this.....I need this. I need to move forward and TRY! thanks to the writer!

  • Otti

    March 30, 2012 11:34 am

    I like your post... But I believe talent is nothing without hardwork...

  • Rich O

    March 30, 2012 11:16 am

    "...Do it because your inner voice is too loud and you can’t get to sleep." ---I know this one well.

    "Act before you’re ready because regret sucks." ---Awesome statement!

    Of the whole post, those last two sentences hit me. Excellent post. Very enlightening and inspirational.

    Then, while reading the comments, I read a great observation by Allan Cox,

    "I see students with amazing talent, who have that talent because they keep asking themselves 'how can I do this better', but it is that very questioning that prevents them from putting themselves out there."

    I am so guilty of this in so many areas of my life that it's sad. But I justify (perhaps rationalize) it by truly believing that if I don't push (and push, and push) myself that their is someone else out there (my nemesis), who just possesses this almost alien quantity of talent and drive, that if I don't completely run the well dry, so to speak, I will lose. What will I lose? Apparently some creativity war that only exists in my head. I don't know.

    What I am beginning to believe is that I keep thinking like a commercial artist whose very livelihood could be threatened and perhaps completely undone if I let myself become complacent for even a second. As if I am involved in some unspoken contest with the world. I have also realized that this is a catch-22. The more I attempt to wring every last drop of creativity and force something into existence, the slower that process becomes. It has to flow freely. The moment I try to direct, harness, or wrangle it into a particular direction, it either becomes elusive or slows to a complete halt.

    I wonder if anyone else experiences these same feelings.

  • Christy

    March 30, 2012 10:34 am

    Thanks Michael, loved it. Just started The Artist's Way last week. I love that you said to start before you are ready, because lately I have been wondering if I launched way to soon. Good thing for winter! My passion is what has kept me going through the headache of business and website stuff. I am depending in The Artist's Way to help me the the rest of the inadequate feelings.

  • Jessie Flores

    March 30, 2012 09:56 am

    Great post. I am newer to photography. I search many websites for tips on taking action shots of my girls playing soccer. i usually get intimidated looking at the pics and realize my Canon XTi is small potatoes compared to the gear y'all have. but this article reminds me that i really like taking those action shots. this past weekend i took over 400 pics and only kept 27. again thanks for the inspiration.

  • Sarah

    March 30, 2012 09:37 am

    Thanks Michael, sometimes you need to read an article like this to remind you why you do the things you love. Whether its a passion for photography or cake-making - the application is the same.

  • Natalie

    March 30, 2012 08:39 am

    What a great post! Very inspirational, I think I'll come back and read it again when I am doubting myself. Thank you :)

  • Average Joe

    March 30, 2012 07:00 am

    Very motivational. Although it does make me wonder if I'll make it...

  • Allan Cox

    March 30, 2012 06:59 am

    As a teacher of photography, I would have to say that talent is probably one of the things least likely to indicate whether a person will make it as a pro. In fact it is almost the reverse. The thing you need is an almost arrogant/ignorant total belief that your photos are gods gift to the universe. With this, you will then ‘talk the talk’ and people will hire you. That fact that you can’t walk the walk is irrelevant, as most people wouldn’t know a bad photo if it hit them between the eyes with a sledgehammer.
    It’s all quite sad really. I see students with amazing talent, who have that talent because they keep asking themselves “how can I do this better”, but it is that very questioning that prevents them from putting themselves out there.
    Granted there are some very good photographers out there who have somehow managed the juggling act between being there ‘own harshest critic’ and ‘totally believing in themselves’ but the are the minority.

  • Susan

    March 30, 2012 06:50 am

    From one who has doubted herself and waffeled in my own indecision as to my "talent", I am grateful for your words ans I deeply salute you.

  • Yazid Abu-Ghazaleh

    March 30, 2012 06:34 am

    Thank you for this awesome post. Definitely encouraging for aspiring photographers such as myself :)

  • David

    March 30, 2012 06:15 am

    Can I suggest find a mentor. I have one real one my age who is a pro and two virtual ones via FB who are old and wise and experienced. They teach me a lot. Also when you start to get praise from everyone you photograph thats another sign. And lastly do it before you loose your youth! 56 year old bones don't appreciate 4 hour shoots!

  • Michael Adams

    March 30, 2012 05:47 am

    Gina, Kennoy and Chitra, Thanks for your kind words and keep going.

  • Sharon Young

    March 30, 2012 04:40 am

    VERY good post (and point)! I come from a long line of musicians & have always felt that I @ least had some musical talent through genetics. I started getting into Photography a few yrs ago (I'm more "into" nature pics, etc.. tho have taken pics @ several events that have human subjects) mainly because I'd received a new camera as a gift. Many friends tell me I should "DO something w/ that voice!", or that I "should start SELLING those pictures or enter them into contests!".. Believe me, I've kicked myself 4 not persuing the "music" thing & my only excuse was "lack of support" however, I know I could have been more "defiant" toward the discouragement. As fo the photography, I "ENJOY" capturing the BEAUTY that surrounds me & do have some VERY NICE shots! Does that mean I "have what it takes"? Not sure.. I've entered contests here & there although can ONLY afford to enter the "FREE" ones & have a hard time finding out WHO won WHAT, or whether my photo was even seen. Have had 3 different photos "chosen to be published" in a "Coffee Table Book?", (& IF it's a "scam", they GOT me ONCE - the 1st time tho I do have that little "keepsake" of a book & it DID have my photo included). I didn't have the money 2 purchase the others & have wondered if I'd EVER be able to FIND copies that actually contain the pics (or was it 1 of those scams, taking advantage of someone's DESIRE to persue their PASSION?)...
    Therein lies the whole point. I may not have done the "right" things to see if I "have what it takes" & DO wish I'd tried HARDER, however The good old "Coulda, shoulda, woulda" can be just as discouraging so I'll just dust myself off & try again! I can't change the past but the FUTURE has yet to be written & who knows?, MAYBE I'm wrong & there r 2 more books out there, each containing a photo that would not have been published had I NOT "tried"! CHASE your dreams! If you CAN'T, then at LEAST help someone ELSE chase theirs.. Sometimes LIFE gets in the way & SO MANY talented people who are "less fortunate" miss opportunities to get a CHANCE at actually persuing a "dream" because they're too wrapped up in providing for their families.

  • Chitra Sivasankar Arunagiri

    March 30, 2012 04:17 am

    Thanks for the wonderful post. Little words of inspiration. Thank you

  • Kennoy

    March 30, 2012 03:16 am

    I Don't know i have a talent in photography or not. All i know, i've been doing this for almost 8years, in good and bad mood. Receive many awards isn't my point neither money. I just wanna shoot like my eye is shutter release.
    Nice post!

  • Parrot40

    March 30, 2012 02:48 am

    As an amateur photographer I strive to improve with each photo I take. My goal is to be as best as I can be. I research, follow tutorials look at professional's work. Those help tremendously but kind of get lost when the eye gets behind the eyepiece and the finger is on the shutter release and it's time to capture your own idea.

    It's kind of discouraging for me to post on Flickr. I look at images that are average in my limited opinion. When they have tons of comments and my images have none, even after asking for comments and critiques. My frustration is - how am I supposed to improve my photography, become a better photographer if no one cares enough to give comments and advice? 80-100 views and no comments, maybe I suck that bad and am not cut out for a better photographic future.

  • Maria Schnell

    March 30, 2012 02:22 am

    It's all in the eye of the beholder - one photographer/writer/artist/sculptor/etc's work is "fabulous" to some and "crap" to others. Many (not all) "popular" works appeal to the lowest common denominator (widest appeal) and sell for that reason alone. Many creative souls die penniless and are "rediscovered" posthumously. Works by "unknown" are found to have been created by "famous" and go from no value to millions.

  • gina englet

    March 30, 2012 02:18 am

    Inspiring, beautiful, and simple. Thank you!

  • Christina Spade

    March 30, 2012 02:17 am

    Like me, my mom and friends all think I have talent. However, if you don't think you have talent, its pointless. The first negative opinion and your doubting yourself; u wont get anywhere like that. I've learned u have to believe in yourself
    first and not rely on others. You love what u photograph, then do it. I love nature photography and all that implies. Seeing the amazing beauty in so many things is awe-inspiring to me. The artwork God has given to us every minute, if we just open our eyes, is something I will always cherish. I plan on photographing nature for the rest of my life, career or not. Although, a career is something I am earnestly planning for :-).

  • LousyShot

    March 30, 2012 02:04 am

    I ask that question myself too many times...Do I really have talent? My friends say so, but again, they may really want me to buy them a drink. What would you say? Will you be kind enough to visit my website and leave a comment? This is a lot more important to me at this time that you may think. Thank you so much!

  • Drea

    March 30, 2012 01:58 am

    Wow- Truth hurts- but let's all be honest- it's also refreshing. Talent isn't born- It's Made. Let's get MADE people!

  • Michael Adams

    March 29, 2012 04:07 pm

    Stephen, I'll buy you a drink, but it needs to be happy hour prices in Moorpark (in between LA and Santa Barbara). Saundra, Thanks. Wayne, Amen. Charles, I agree. You don't have to have $1,000,000 in annual sales to be a success. ScottC, Don't' know if my Jr High Art Teacher or my HS English teacher are alive, but, if not, they are rolling over laughing when they hear that I've paid the mortgage for the last 25 years with photography and that I can write my way out of a paper bag. ccting, I agree. At the top of my list is the skill - yes, it's learned - to adapt. Juan, yes it is, but don't you feel more alive when you ask it? Gary K, Thanks and how did you meet my dad:} Raghavendra, yes but if your voice keeps nagging you, take a chance. Alexx, Go for it. Start small. Start smaller than small. Just start. Rachael, Thanks. The demons are real and - I hate to break the bad news - they don't go away. You might find Stephen Pressfield's The War of Art and Do the Work helpful. Great resources. If you get a chance, let me know what you think. Steve Slater, Well said and I could not agree more. Maister, You must have done really well on that reading comprehension test:} Chandale, Glad I could help. You might need to hear this message, by me or someone else, again and that's ok. Listen and take one small step. Yoan, thanks and bring it on:} Scott Grissom, Thanks and my mom thinks i'm special also. Kwng, Keep at it! Max, Thanks and the other quote i like is "Success is 80% showing up" by Woody Allen I think. Whether it's Woody Allen or not, I like the quote and I really liked Midnight in Paris. Ruth, Thanks and well said. If you have not read, The Artist's Way, you might find it helpful. Julie, the comments are fun and I started with a photography class at my local community college after I graduated from college. After I had my business for about 10 years, I spoke at his class. He told me "Mike, you were not the most talented person in the class - you were probably in the top 20% - but you stayed with it." Thanks Professor Grey, I think:}

  • Julie

    March 29, 2012 01:31 pm

    It is almost as enjoyable reading the comments as it is reading the post itself. I am taking a photography class because even if I am not talented enough to go pro, it is something that I am driven to do the best that I possibly can! ;).

  • Ruth Yates

    March 29, 2012 10:30 am

    What is Talent I ask myself???? I have questioned my self on numerous occasions. What am I talented at? I want to be good at something. After my 3 children were old enough and I had just turned 40, I had these things going through my head. Its time to do something for yourself. I always enjoyed taking photographs, and was a little artistic. I loved working in the darkroom in my High School years, but never really pursued a career in photography as my parents never thought it was a good enough job. Wow if they only knew now. Cut a long story short. I know do a lot of photography, I have started a home studio and still really do not understand what Talent is, I practise and practise and learn from my mistakes and pick things from other photographers that I can use. Like you say my friends and family, say I'm good, but that voice within is too critical at times, but this makes me more determined to become better. I believe that talent comes from a lot of hard work, practise and having that confidence. Everyone is Talented in there own special way. Just love and enjoy what you do and it will show in your work.

  • John Crisp

    March 29, 2012 07:22 am

    I do not think I am a professional but I am getting serious about photography. I have always been told I have a eye for taking photos. It took me getting rid of my Nikon D90 and buying a Canon 7D for me to get serious. So much so, I started my own beginnner night photography web site called stoutography.com. I have big plans and its because of the support I got from my friends and a passion for photography. I am not interested in making money of it, just to share my experiences.

  • Max Almonte

    March 29, 2012 12:56 am

    Talent is just a word. Read "Talent is Overated" by Geoff Colvin. You will be surprised at what you read.
    I also like the post. It really goes with a quote that a friend posted on his FB page. "If you play the game there is a 50% chance you will win, but if you don't play, there is 100% you will not win".

  • kwng

    March 29, 2012 12:30 am

    My mum always said "do not waste time in photography" try something that earn money instead and so do my friends but i ignore them. I do it bcoz its fun.

  • Scott Grissom

    March 28, 2012 11:59 pm

    My mom always says I'm special!!! :)

    Nice post. One of this things I really enjoy about this site is the way each of us are encouraged to take realistic introspectives into our photography. We are encouraged to improve but also to realize what we need to improve on and then to put careful consideration before we decide "Damn, I'm good, I should be selling this stuff." I think you're spot-on in your references to Facebook, friends and parents.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post.

    @yoan, wow, critical much?

  • Yoan

    March 28, 2012 10:41 pm

    Good post however...
    "Can you make you’re work fresh."
    -__-
    Sorry, I'm not work. I'm a human.

  • Chandale

    March 28, 2012 07:55 pm

    Thank you for this post. I don't know that I have the confidence, aka:not ready-itis, but I will jump. Thank you for writing the words that I needed.

  • Maister

    March 28, 2012 04:24 pm

    I am a beginner and I often ask this question from myself. Even if I am not doing it for money yet, I still like it.
    "Act before you’re ready because regret sucks." this is the main message here, thanks. :)

  • steve slater

    March 28, 2012 03:28 pm

    I think you certainly need determination and a thick skin. If you turn pro then you are putting your work out for the world to see. Some people will love it some will hate it so be prepared for the knocks.
    When you start selling though it is a great feeling of accomplishment.
    You will never forget the first photo you sell:

    http://wildlifeencounters.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/African-Mammals/G0000FIcyAEFOesQ/I0000L1e6bLMYQnU

  • Rachael

    March 28, 2012 02:38 pm

    Thank you for this post. When my inner demons act up and plague me with doubt, I have to be reminded that I do what I do ultimately because it is fulfilling.

  • Alexx

    March 28, 2012 02:25 pm

    I dream of one day opening a high end studio and gallery in Toronto.

    http://www.disney-photography-blog.blogspot.com/

  • raghavendra

    March 28, 2012 01:45 pm

    misleading popularity in social networks. the likes and +1's for the pictures are rated by your friends and family we must take it as a pinch of salt.
    problem arises when you go out of the realm.

    http://raghavendra-mobilephotography.blogspot.com/2012/03/camel-in-vellore.html

  • Gary K

    March 28, 2012 12:46 pm

    It is better to fail at attempting something great than to do nothing and succeed at it.
    Great post.

  • Juan

    March 28, 2012 12:07 pm

    Scary question.

  • ccting

    March 28, 2012 10:44 am

    DPS should encourage 2-way interaction as it facilitate learning. Social media is about 2-way interaction and not 1-way personnel posting by experts.

    1) 2-way interaction promotes users satisfaction with getting their feedback for better analyze, transform and improvement ,via two way communication

    2) Empowered photography hobbysts who comes to DPS knowing their photography problems & challenges

    3) openness in interaction.

  • ccting

    March 28, 2012 10:24 am

    Well, talent? My baby loves driving car, i think he has the talent to be the F1 racer... LOL.. Without sending him to proper training, he will become a good racer..
    There are many other factors beside talent - education, experience, analysis etc.

  • Scottc

    March 28, 2012 08:57 am

    Nope! Not enough talent to even make me dream of quitting my day job!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/6775807164/

  • Charles

    March 28, 2012 08:25 am

    Great post, Michael! If you've gotten to the point where you're asking the question you really already know the answer. Even more important than having "enough" talent is if you have enough guts to turn whatever talent you have into either an avocation or a career.

  • Wayne

    March 28, 2012 07:22 am

    Better to say you tried then say I wish I could of would of if only!

  • Saundra

    March 28, 2012 06:45 am

    What a fantastic post! Thank you.

  • Stephen Siteman

    March 28, 2012 06:35 am

    Hey,

    I like this post. Does that mean you will buy me a drink? :)
    But seriously, I like the you can't win if you don't try idea behind what you are saying here.

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