Never Give Up

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This guest post was submitted by Martin Gommel (Flickr) from the German photography blog KWERFELDEIN.

The Photographer II by you.

Very often I listen to amateur photographers who are desperate with themselves. They simply continue to feel out of place in the world of photos – sometimes a harsh ciritic comes in and it is just too much. They only want one thing: Better photos. But they have the feeling, that they’d never to arrive there, because there is always someone who isn’t satisfied with their work – sometimes it’s even themselves. If you can identify with this, then this post is for you.

I know this situation well and have also struggled with these problems in my career. Even today it isn’t always easy. But on my way with the camera, I have found reasons why it is important to never give up. What follows has helped me to get through all of this. Even when I think I simply cannot continue.

Through Fog We See by you.

You’re not alone.

Even if you think that you’re the only one that feels how you feel – which is true to some extent – because nobody feels like you I can promise you: There are more despearate people out there than you think. Only the few dare to openly talk about it, because they are afraid of being laughed at. Sometimes it just looks like everybody is sucessfull and happy with their photography but that’s simply not true. You’re not alone.

Talk about it.

Speak to your photo buddies. In hard times I have had the best experiences with photo friends (that i trust) when i shared my problems in photography openly and honestly.  I was really surprised by many reactions. Many said : “Oh, yes – I know that! I had this problem …”- others said “Hang in there, you can do it!” Of course you’ll have to be sensitive in how to tell your story – your friends should not drown in your tears 😉

Firespeed by you.

Mistakes are allowed.

Slipped up? Set your settings with ISO 10000000 at the wrong place at the wrong time? Massivly underexposed? Badly composed? Yes, this is stupid and annoying. But this must be clear: Mistakes are okay. They belong to the journey with your camera. Sure, we want to avoid them and better delete them from our history. But in life there is no delete – because mistakes happen and they are okay. Look at the portfolio of inspiring pro – photographers. What do you see? The good Pictures. What don’t you see ? The thousands of poor photos.. And without them the photographer would never have come so far. They belong to the journey. Only those who make mistakes can learn from them.

Analyze fierce criticism objectively.

This is hard but important. In the first moments when we get harsh and fierce words about our shots we tend to react emotionally (that is one of my big weaknesses). So better wait an hour or two. When the first frustration is over, think about the words again. Ask yourself: Where’s the commentor possibly right? Does he speaks perhaps to a point on which you’re sensitive? Or is he just wrong because his words are offensive and he makes false generalizations about you or your work? If you’re very unsure, then read the criticism with a good friend and ask him / her for a feedback. Someone from outside can be much more relaxed and be an objective judge and that can move you forward.

A Field For My Wispers by you.

Photograph as usual.

Do not be disappointed when you images don’t look perfect. Stay the course. Stick to your plan and continue to photograph. With this dedication you can’t be beaten. You can do it.

Free yourself of any pressure.
As long as you do not have a contract for photographic work, you don’t have to shoot under pressure. Yes, we want to be better and all the best yesterday. But growth takes time and dedication. It doesn’t make sense to shoot hundreds of thousands of photos every day and to be completely exhausted after 3 weeks. Slowly is better than never.

INRI by you.

Emphasize your successes.

If you look at your pictures, what goes through your head? Do you see only the pictures where you apparently failed or even the good ones? Both are important. In order to learn from mistakes, you need to know them. But the good images must be celebrated big time. These are those which encourage you. The are the proof – black on white – for your skills. Dare to be proud of these shots

Never give up. Never.

Read more from our category

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • November 20th, I just got done taking the Athens Photographic Project.The Athens Photographic Project is a class designed for the mentally ill to go out and take pictures to show various stages of recovery of the individuals taking the class. The class uses 35mm manual cameras. In the class we learned composition and the whole nine yards.

    The first roll of film that I ruined, I was ready to throw in the towel and quit the class. The teacher pushed me to stay. The next class we had she told us to never give up and to keep trying and that it happens to the best of photographers. Well, I stayed and I took a lot of good pictures(696) to be exact. The way that I looked at it is, that the class made me a better photographer digitally. Where I was playing around with light in earlier digital pictures wasn’t as good as the later pictures after the class. Composition was better. Everything was better. With the teacher pushing me to do better, I was pushing myself as hard to accomplish what she wanted me to do. There was some pictures that I wanted to turn out that didn’t and the ones that I thought wouldn’t turn out did. It didn’t bother me because it stayed in my head that it happens to the best of photographers and not only me.

    I have trouble with night digital pictures and I tell myself not to give up in taking them. I love receiving the newsletter and checking out the tips.

  • rich

    Great article. I gold nugget I’ve learned from this site: take LOTS of pictures!! Different, as well as multiples of the same shot. I took 30 shots of a garden spider just get 2 perfect keepers. If I’d only taken 3 or 4, I’d have been disappointed when I saw them on my monitor. My prob is when i post that ‘perfect’ picture, and out of 60 views, it gets 2 comments, while the guy under me gets 15 comments. I see it as indifference or silent disapproval. Both equal naked in public. But I’ll keep shootin’ em! And my ratio of keepers will keep goin up!

  • thanks so much for being willing to “bear it all”. when i get extremely frustrated i put the camera down for a while. but like you said “slow progress is better than none”. i absolutely love photography and like some feel about golf…”it’s that one good shot that keeps you coming back.”
    with four kids at home and under the age of 9 there are lots of moments for photography. even when i’m out of the house everything reminds me “wow, that would make a great shot.” i guess most all photographers think like that.
    the one thing i need to “get over” is people looking at me with my camera. i don’t like being “the girl with the camera”. isn’t that wierd???
    anyone else?
    maybe if i was 5’2″ instead of 6’2″ i wouldn’t feel that way.
    oh well….must get over myself and keep shooting.
    julie

  • that was me above and here’s the link to my site
    http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/juliestew
    thanks again.

  • One of my main problems is that I very seldom take portrait photos. For some unexplained reason I don’t like to photograph people. I don’t have too much trouble taking pictures of friends or family, but I still don’t like it at all. I was wondering how I can overcome this.

  • Richard

    My main problem is that I don’t have any ‘photographer buddies’ making my only source of commentary being the internet, and it’s not a very friendly and productive place to improve ones photography.

    For now, I’ve put it on the back burner, trying some new areas to keep me interested, but not having people to talk to and/or to share with makes it very difficult to keep motivated.

    Thanks for the blog though…

  • Rlarsen

    Thanks, I needed that.

  • Jackie

    I only wish I had read your article before I deleted 3 years worth of Flickr pics a couple of weeks ago. I wondered if I was capable of producing anything worthwhile, and in a moment of madness deleted the whole lot. I regret it now of course. My harsh inner critic was comparing my work to so many of the amazingly talented Flickr photographers. Oh well, live and learn. Your article and the accompanying comments are an inspiration. At least I now know I know I’m not alone in dealing with my inner critic. Many thanks.

  • Great article. Addresses the lingering doubts that can surface from time to time. Wonderful words of encouragement.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for sharing this article. I am an amateur and would like to take better photos…and I guess sometimes, I stress myself out when I have more bad shots than good ones and they can affect my ‘photography mood’…where I feel discouraged and question whether I am really up to this or maybe I should just give up altogether. After all, photography’s a competitive world. Who am I to measure up to the more accomplished giants in this field? I guess your Never Give Up article’s a timely reminder to never give up, continue to shoot, make mistakes, learn from them and journey ahead.

  • Albert Ward

    Cannot agree more! Thanks for the encouragement! The fact that I am an amateur does not make my photo’s crappy!

    Albert

  • Maree Jamieson

    Thank you so much. Sometimes I feel that the more I learn about photography the more I find out I don’t know. This is disheartening. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t learned anything at all. Your article is true though, and I will continue to try!

  • Lina

    Thank you I REALLY needed to read this. I don’t even go out with a group of photographers to take photos because I am afraid I will be laughed at and feel like I do not know what I am doing compare to the others.

  • Another very inspiring article. Thank you.

  • Thoughtsonly

    I love this piece.

  • newphotographer

    thanks! a very inspiring one indeed,
    I always facing problem in handling harsh comment or criticism from others.
    behind one good picture there is thousand of failure- quoted

  • Dawn

    PRINT your great shots! Guaranteed to feel fantastic 🙂

  • purplesquid

    That was a good piece. Thanks much.

  • Bill Jaynes

    This couldn’t have come at a better time! Thank you very much for this. I keep forgetting that I only just took my first serious portrait shoot in May of this year. It was great and the next one on a beach was even better–phenomenal even. But when I go out and totally blow it on shoots for the newspaper I run I feel like a poseur. I’m not giving up. No I’m not but sometimes I feel like someone is going to figure out that I’ve been faking it and have only really just been very lucky even though I’ve won one Pacific-wide photo contest and have been published in more than just my own newspaper. Thanks for this heads up. I DO take some good shots. I just want to do it more often–like, EVERY time!

  • Sudarvilzi Rajkumar

    great shoots superb

  • I’m in the middle of this hell, because I’m sufferring with depression and it is simply hard to express myself. I already lost the music recently and now it seems I can’t make a single photo.

    My camera is always with me, but lately I have no courage to pick it and point it to anything or anyone.

    But I don’t give up, I keep bringing it with me. Someday it will happen again.

    Great article!

  • Linda Bon

    Wow!!! What an inspirational message!!! I found one quote in here which I hope to carry with me forever:

    “Only those who make mistakes can learn from them.”
    Sometimes I get so down and disappointed in myself, ESPECIALLY when I compare my photos with others. Thus far, no one has been harshly critical. And for that I’m grateful. If so, I’d probably be the one who would crawl in the corner and suck my thumb for days. Everyone I’ve encountered has been encouraging, and most are very helpful.
    Thank you for one of the most eye-opening articles I’ve seen in DPS!!!

  • sadmom4

    Thank you for this!

  • Tracy Bankston Smith

    Man. Thanks Darren!!! I really needed that today. Been feeling like my pics SUCK lately! lol! Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Guest

    how did the photographer achieve the light painting in this post? I would really like to know the method. I don’t think it was steel wool since there’s no sparks flying out? But how? And how do you achieve a sphere like that?

  • Don’t give up Luciano! Sometimes, even the darkest moments of our lives are a source of inspiration for art and photography. I know that by personal experience http://richartemurillo.deviantart.com/journal/RECIPE-FOR-WILL-POWER-POEM-492968270

  • Great article and excellent tips to keep on this beautiful passion.

  • Great Article. I told my sister in law how I was feeling about my photography lately and she emphatically said “don’t stop! Please don’t stop” She is great she will give me an honest critique of my pics too. No mater what you do there is going to be someone better and someone worse than you. Do what you love for you and strive to improve for you so you can enjoy your passion even more.

  • Ian Nord

    I feel the same some times I carry my camera everywhere but dont always shot. Keep going because that time will come and you be ready to go again. there is always someone there for support.

  • Ian Nord

    This is a great post. I love photography and take all types of photos. I am an amateur and learning everyday but feel sometime that I loose the eye for shooting those shot like so much. I normally share with friends but sometimes feel that they are not interested then someone will say I miss your photos and that sometimes gives a little motivation to shoot again. I am addicted to photography.

  • Holly Jennings

    This was a great article right when I was feeling that my photos just don’t measure up to what others are doing. Instead of comparing, I’m going to learn from them instead.

  • Hey, Joe!

    Yes, I was thinking about that. Thank you for your comment, now I’ll do it for sure. ;P

  • Chandra

    I just saw a post the other day about a mom who started exploring her depressed side through photography. I want to encourage you to do that too. Show others what depression is through your pictures. Maybe for one person it’s pictures of dead animals (gross, maybe, but it may also express that feeling of depression) or maybe for another it’s fog (experiment with light and create foggy, dark images that express the foggy emotional feeling)…
    This is art. This is expression.
    Hugs! And cheers to many photomotional expressions. (Ya, I just made that word up- but that’s what I encourage you to do. Depression can’t over power you if you’ve harnessed it’s power in art).

  • George Johnson

    Last year I went for a recognised certification with the UK’s Royal Photographic Society, I failed and it was some of the harshest criticism I’ve faced. One of the criticisms was that that I had a “complete lack of creativity” and various other harsh remarks, all well intentioned I know. However I walked out of that room and I spent the next 2-3 days planning where to sell my gear, I was absolutely torn apart. I felt like I had completely wasted my time for 3 years of my life. It was only through talking with others who had always supported me that I was able to struggle on. However I’d lost my drive and it took me close on 3 months to get really motivated again. I shoot primarily colour landscapes and I’d joined a BW group on Facebook for a laugh around Xmas time, there was a photographer on there by the name of Mark Littlejohn, he was showing these amazing BW landscapes and I was blown away. So I started shooting BW images for something different and it lit a fire under me and this is the first year where I have a) broken my annual keepers record and b) well over half of those are BW c) this year my total number of BW images has exceeded my total BW images for the last 4 years! This year that photographer, Mark Littlejohn, was “crowned” UK Landscape Photographer of the Year ( oddly for a colour image! ) but if it wasn’t for talking and then finding his images that enthused me to get back out there again, my gear would easily have been in someone else’s hands by now. So no, don’t ever give up, just stay calm, struggle on but keep looking for something to get you back in the game again.

  • Rob

    also consider the source. I also write, and one of my works was criticized by someone who is a great writer but he didn’t understand the specific style i used on the one story. he was quite down on it but i stuck by my decision and everyone else that read it ‘got it’ and liked the style. It’s not that the once critic was stupid, not that he was nasty, it was just a style that he either didn’t understand or like.
    Not everyone will appreciate or understand what you you saw in some shots. That’s OK. as long as YOU see it and some others see it too. heck they might even see stuff that you don’t see for yourself at first.
    Taking pictures is a science, photography is an art.

  • Rob

    i also suffer from depression. Sometimes I force myself to do things to break the cycle. Grab something from the fridge and take some macro shots. I have a wooden picnic table that is weather beaten. I looked at a knot in the wood and it looked interesting. a few dozen macro shots from different angles later and i had a few really interesting shots. then i noticed some mushrooms. grabbed a tarp and laydown close in and got some shots. next thing i knew, i was getting all sorts of neat subjects i didn’t notice before. and my cat joined in too. It rapidly turned into a very productive day and as i looked the shots over in the computer i realized i had broken the cycle.
    Hopefully something like that will work for you too.

  • Rob

    That’s a great word. Kudos!

  • Ras Karis Henry.

    thanks for the encouragement, started out this year and sometimes it feels scary..but am trodding on shot after shot….snap after snap…till I get to be worthy among the best photographers…JAH Bless n One Love my dear fellow Photographers.

  • Ravindra Kathale

    Great experience George! Where can I see yours and Mark’s work? I’m a B/W lover and always on the lookout for examples to emulate or at least learn from. All the best. Keep shooting!

  • paul

    I have been through a similar but less harsh time. Then I read in DPS that “12 good pics a year is a good crop” and “your first 10,000 photos are your worst 10,000 photos”. That brought me back to photography. Never, ever give up. Thanks (and thanks DPS)

  • George Johnson

    Many thanks indeed.

    You can find my main site at : http://www.georgewjohnson.com/

    You can then find links to me on Facebook, Flickr, etc off that page.

  • THT

    Thank you for article and useful tips.

Some Older Comments

  • Hayden September 19, 2012 11:36 pm

    Another very inspiring article. Thank you.

  • Lina September 6, 2012 12:50 am

    Thank you I REALLY needed to read this. I don't even go out with a group of photographers to take photos because I am afraid I will be laughed at and feel like I do not know what I am doing compare to the others.

  • Maree Jamieson September 5, 2012 09:03 pm

    Thank you so much. Sometimes I feel that the more I learn about photography the more I find out I don't know. This is disheartening. Sometimes I feel like I haven't learned anything at all. Your article is true though, and I will continue to try!

  • Albert Ward September 5, 2012 07:46 pm

    Cannot agree more! Thanks for the encouragement! The fact that I am an amateur does not make my photo's crappy!

    Albert

  • MeiTeng January 27, 2009 12:25 am

    Thanks for sharing this article. I am an amateur and would like to take better photos...and I guess sometimes, I stress myself out when I have more bad shots than good ones and they can affect my 'photography mood'...where I feel discouraged and question whether I am really up to this or maybe I should just give up altogether. After all, photography's a competitive world. Who am I to measure up to the more accomplished giants in this field? I guess your Never Give Up article's a timely reminder to never give up, continue to shoot, make mistakes, learn from them and journey ahead.

  • David December 5, 2008 03:21 am

    Great article. Addresses the lingering doubts that can surface from time to time. Wonderful words of encouragement.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Jackie December 4, 2008 06:30 pm

    I only wish I had read your article before I deleted 3 years worth of Flickr pics a couple of weeks ago. I wondered if I was capable of producing anything worthwhile, and in a moment of madness deleted the whole lot. I regret it now of course. My harsh inner critic was comparing my work to so many of the amazingly talented Flickr photographers. Oh well, live and learn. Your article and the accompanying comments are an inspiration. At least I now know I know I'm not alone in dealing with my inner critic. Many thanks.

  • Rlarsen December 1, 2008 05:57 am

    Thanks, I needed that.

  • Richard December 1, 2008 01:24 am

    My main problem is that I don't have any 'photographer buddies' making my only source of commentary being the internet, and it's not a very friendly and productive place to improve ones photography.

    For now, I've put it on the back burner, trying some new areas to keep me interested, but not having people to talk to and/or to share with makes it very difficult to keep motivated.

    Thanks for the blog though...

  • Janet November 30, 2008 10:16 am

    One of my main problems is that I very seldom take portrait photos. For some unexplained reason I don't like to photograph people. I don't have too much trouble taking pictures of friends or family, but I still don't like it at all. I was wondering how I can overcome this.

  • Julie November 29, 2008 11:20 pm

    that was me above and here's the link to my site
    www.homeschoolblogger.com/juliestew
    thanks again.

  • Julie November 29, 2008 11:17 pm

    thanks so much for being willing to "bear it all". when i get extremely frustrated i put the camera down for a while. but like you said "slow progress is better than none". i absolutely love photography and like some feel about golf..."it's that one good shot that keeps you coming back."
    with four kids at home and under the age of 9 there are lots of moments for photography. even when i'm out of the house everything reminds me "wow, that would make a great shot." i guess most all photographers think like that.
    the one thing i need to "get over" is people looking at me with my camera. i don't like being "the girl with the camera". isn't that wierd???
    anyone else?
    maybe if i was 5'2" instead of 6'2" i wouldn't feel that way.
    oh well....must get over myself and keep shooting.
    julie

  • rich November 29, 2008 08:36 pm

    Great article. I gold nugget I've learned from this site: take LOTS of pictures!! Different, as well as multiples of the same shot. I took 30 shots of a garden spider just get 2 perfect keepers. If I'd only taken 3 or 4, I'd have been disappointed when I saw them on my monitor. My prob is when i post that 'perfect' picture, and out of 60 views, it gets 2 comments, while the guy under me gets 15 comments. I see it as indifference or silent disapproval. Both equal naked in public. But I'll keep shootin' em! And my ratio of keepers will keep goin up!

  • Janet November 29, 2008 03:31 pm

    November 20th, I just got done taking the Athens Photographic Project.The Athens Photographic Project is a class designed for the mentally ill to go out and take pictures to show various stages of recovery of the individuals taking the class. The class uses 35mm manual cameras. In the class we learned composition and the whole nine yards.

    The first roll of film that I ruined, I was ready to throw in the towel and quit the class. The teacher pushed me to stay. The next class we had she told us to never give up and to keep trying and that it happens to the best of photographers. Well, I stayed and I took a lot of good pictures(696) to be exact. The way that I looked at it is, that the class made me a better photographer digitally. Where I was playing around with light in earlier digital pictures wasn't as good as the later pictures after the class. Composition was better. Everything was better. With the teacher pushing me to do better, I was pushing myself as hard to accomplish what she wanted me to do. There was some pictures that I wanted to turn out that didn't and the ones that I thought wouldn't turn out did. It didn't bother me because it stayed in my head that it happens to the best of photographers and not only me.

    I have trouble with night digital pictures and I tell myself not to give up in taking them. I love receiving the newsletter and checking out the tips.

  • Micki Harper November 29, 2008 05:06 am

    Vielen Dank!!! Thank you. I battle myself and my 'abilities' on a monthly basis it seems. Most of the times, I'm just a lurker on forums because I don't think my shots stand up to others. Everything you stated I already knew, but it still helps to see it in writing :-)

  • Otis November 29, 2008 02:51 am

    Thanks for the encouraging words...it's comforting to think of the criticism and composition as "belonging to the journey." Anyhow, thanks again...I hope you'll stop and others might stop by my site from time to time and share your thoughts.

    smoothtopper.photoshop.com

    Happy shooting...

  • arnold avancena November 28, 2008 05:34 pm

    Great article it applies not only to photography but to every professions in life.Big morale booster to anyone on a learning stage like me.Thank you.

  • Rob November 28, 2008 03:52 pm

    Very relevant article for photographers. I'm a member of Foto Community and this has really helped me over the past 4 years. Take what you can from the harsh critiques and get better. It takes time and reading magazines and watching U Tube on techniques will help little. Keep taking photos. Thats the only way to improve. It comes slowly but it does come. Push yourself and tell yourself to enjoy it. Before long you won't have to force yourself when things start falling into place. On FotoCom I have learned to give praise and others will come to my images and praise them. Believe in yourself as otherswill or do.

  • Corinne November 28, 2008 08:14 am

    I almost gave up on photography today. And guess what was in my email inbox? A link to this article. Thank you!

  • nicole anjolie November 28, 2008 07:08 am

    This article came to me just at the right time. I have been so very disappointed in my photos. I have had to teach myself, which is so slow going, but even worse, I have a disability that causes my legs to hurt all the time. When I think of going out to shoot; the memories of the pain I felt from the last shoot comes flooding back. All the squatting, standing, walking, ect. really causes extreme pain that puts me down for a few days so unfortunately, I have come to associate photography with pain. I love photography so much; it is something I have always wanted to do; I am 54, and if I don't do it now, while I can still walk, then when am I going to do it? I also get out in the field and because of cognitive problems, I can't remember anything that I had read about technique, ect. so I am making up "flashcards", to remind me of even the basics of how to even set up a shutter speed. It's frustrating!! I need to disassociate photography from physical pain but am not sure how to do that. But, I don't feel sorry for myself and I am not going to give up; I refuse, I will crawl if I can't walk, but I am not going to give up and not get out there. If I end up in a wheelchair, I will do still life at home. I have never wanted anything more in life than to be a photographer and I will "never, never, give up"

  • Kelly November 28, 2008 05:24 am

    Wow what a great pick me up. I am a studio manager and i felt that this is one of the best things someone showed me. I have learned a lot from this article. Thank you once again!!

    Greetings from Rochester NY

  • catarina November 28, 2008 02:47 am

    Unlike many of you, I didn't find this article usefull at all. If photography related problems were just the opinion other have of my work, I would be very sattisfied. I thought you were going to talk about the real issue, which is: having bad equipment that doesn't allow you to take pictures with the quality you desire. If you have the perfect angles and light but your camera has bad lenses and the image is not clean, sharp or cant capture details, it doesnt matter the opinion of others because you are the one who will not like your fotos!

  • Jon November 27, 2008 02:45 pm

    "Never give up. Never."

    omg, i almost cried reading this article. this reflects the situations i am facing right now. after reading this, i am wanting more critics, fierce critics! thank you, Martin...

    "Never give up. Never."

    jon,
    http://designingrossa.deviantart.com/gallery/

  • DesignerDad November 27, 2008 05:04 am

    Just this morning I had my first stock photography submissions rejected, and was feeling pretty down about it. Reading this post helped put things into perspective. Great words of advice!

  • Jeni November 27, 2008 12:25 am

    This is where I am right now. This post couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you...Thank you...Thank you!!!

  • Odgie November 26, 2008 07:22 pm

    I'm not even a photographer and I learnt from that.

    Cheers

    D

  • Ness November 26, 2008 09:21 am

    This is just what I needed to read. Having re-awakened a latent passion in composing and taking photographs, I started a flickr account, yay,... no! I suddenly found myself overwhelmed....... your article is so spot on and just what I need to keep me encouraged when needed. Thank you for sharing your photographs too. Food for thought as they say.

  • Bryant November 26, 2008 05:21 am

    This article speaks loud and clear to my daily struggles, and frustrations with juggling my photography with real life. I am so hard on myself to a fault, and I really don't have a support group, but I believe that I have come a long way since made the decision to devote the rest of my life to photography, which was only last year. I love the title " Never Give Up ", I feel as if someone, because of this article, is looking over my shoulder when I hold the viewfinder up to my eye, and have made all the choices with my camera, saying "it's ok, take your time, feel the shot, don't worry so much about whats next, click the shutter, and lets see what you've got. Invisible motivation, positive encouragement in an unforgiving world, in a nutshell, spirituality in photographic context that you can achieve, well anything. This article says, it's ok to make mistakes, as long as you can draw from them, and not beat yourself up. Thank you so much for being my voice, a voice that is struggling to find relevant things to say TTL( Through The Lense )

  • Canonboi November 25, 2008 02:30 pm

    Lol'd at the ISO 1000000!

    Inspiring title. Great article. I'm just beginning my photography adventures and I must say that at some point I felt like "what a big mistake this is". But I'm never going to give up. Never felt like giving up anyway. But when I read your article, that "big mistake" thought was erased in my mind. That, coupled with my enthusiasm at this "hobby" makes it the more inspiring.

    Thanks DPS.

  • Jeremy November 25, 2008 11:44 am

    Great advice, inspiring.

    One of the best things I ever did was get a flickr page and engage myself with friend's photography. It lets us be competitive and pushing each other without having a deadline. Plus if I'm ever feeling down I can just go to my photostream and read the comments and think, hey this stuff is good

  • Sharon November 25, 2008 08:59 am

    A timely post for me - and a great reminder that you can't take good photos if you don't take any photos. Thanks :)

  • Carly November 25, 2008 06:34 am

    Wow. Is there something out there in the cosmos that made me get this JUST EXACTLY when I needed to hear it!!

    Thank you so much for posting this!! I think this has to be printed off and stuck on my desk for anytime my inner critic rears it's ugly head. Thank you so much and you've no idea what perfect timing you've had with this post for me ;)

    All the best!!

  • Susheel Chandradhas November 25, 2008 05:20 am

    Martin,

    Very good advice. I think that the most valuable advice is about critique. Many beginners become very defensive and shy once people start to critique their photographs. Art is personal, and if you believe in yourself, it means that you also have to believe in what you create. Now, here's the conflict...

    When somebody critiques your work pointing out flaws that you possibly missed or did not know about, it becomes something of a personal attack even when its not intended as such; and that's hard to understand at first.

    However, if you refuse to give up, you'll eventually see the value in that critique.

    Good Advice: Never give up.

  • Elizabeth November 25, 2008 04:13 am

    Long time Subscriber first time commenter. WOW! what a perfect perfect perfect article to read right now. I am/was in that place mentioned in the beginning completely unsure about my skills and my understanding of photography.

    Since purchasing my first dslr 5 years ago I have lost my passion to take photographs. I've slowly over the years stopped my picture taking of EVERYTHING and just picking my shots and planning and analyzing then only getting a few "good" shots. One thing I was missing was that objective view a photog buddy.

    I have sought out a few photog friends and am eager to learn and grow with them and from them. I went on a photo walk yesterday with a friend first time hanging out together in maybe 4 years. We reconnected with our love for photography. Her enthusiasm and passion for snapping really has energized me. We plan to make it a regular thing.

    Thanks again for the uplifting and realistic post on photography I'm certainly going to bookmark this as a reminder.

    Thanks again!

  • Tamara November 25, 2008 03:00 am

    Great encouraging and inspirational article!

  • Melissa Rodwell November 25, 2008 02:09 am

    This post is great because it reminds all of us, even professionals like myself, that we ALL have those times when we don't feel we compare to others and we want to quit! I wrote about this recently in my own blog about finding inspiration and trying to accept where we are in our lives and push ourselves to keep going. Believe me, after 22 years shooting in the professional realm, I STILL get insecure at times. It goes with the territory. But I try to not compare and despair anymore. And I just keep going! ; )

  • Gina November 25, 2008 01:54 am

    OMg after doing a session yesterday and feeling as if I did not do my best I am so greatful to have read this article to put me back in check. Thanks so much for this.
    I'm going to have to check out myshutterspace.com too.
    It's great the hear from others.

  • Sarosa November 25, 2008 12:47 am

    Great article Martin. Thanks. I think it touches many many people out there, because photography as wonderful as it can be is often a hard business too. I can tell. Living in a foreign country and started this new profession (photography) in the hope to make a living with it soon, I often question my decision and I sometimes think (specially at my age.... 45.....) that I will never reach the goal of being a successful photographer, but I am determined not to give up so quickly.
    Thanks for the uplifting.
    http://www.rosafrei.com

  • Andy Brown November 25, 2008 12:36 am

    Great post! This is as inspiring as anything else!

    About a month ago, I discovered MyShutterspace.com and have had a great time getting excellent and useful critiques of my photos. You can pretty much choose where and how much you want to expose your photos to a wider community.

    Everyone needs a "focus" group to provide feedback. This is one of the places that I find mine.

  • Jack Herrmann November 25, 2008 12:23 am

    My Web Site is under construction now. The picture will be on the Site Wednesday hopfully. Click the Astronomy link.
    I posted, for a contest, a picture of the Moon and put the details on the picture off to the side. I got lashed for this "No one ever puts text on the picture". Very discouraging.
    Well guess what! A few months later the same Magazine that allowed this lashing, you guessed it, put a picture of the moon with text on the picture in the magazine! ;-)
    I showed it to my Wife and we both had a good laugh.

  • Christian Menniss November 24, 2008 11:48 pm

    Thanks great article! :o)

  • Melanie November 24, 2008 11:28 pm

    Thank you. I really needed to read this right now.

  • Olli Kivinen November 24, 2008 08:49 pm

    Whooppidoo.

    Got the adrenaline running, this post :).

    The one that hates my photos the most is me, myself and I. It never turns out good, and that is very annoying. Some people try to reassure that I'm doing a good job, but somehow, I need to convince myself, and that is the hardest part.

    Thanks for these words!

  • Henry November 24, 2008 08:13 pm

    Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you once again.
    I've got nothing else to add, but I had to (I really had to) give a positive feedback for such an inspired & warm post.
    It's already saved in my bookmarks.
    Henry.

  • JH November 24, 2008 06:56 pm

    Thanks for writing this encouraging article, it is very much appreciated. Often there seems to be a wall ahead in developing as a photographer, and it feel that you are going backwards, not progressing. But I guess you just need to realize that things like that happen to everyone.

  • Martin November 24, 2008 06:44 pm

    Or as I wise man I know once said, "Only the one who's sleeping doesn't make any mistakes". Good article!

  • Joel November 24, 2008 05:23 pm

    That's great article.

  • DanielC November 24, 2008 01:24 pm

    I am always unhappy with my photos. I started taking photos with a compact at age 7. But since moving to digital, somehow I feel that my photos lack the impact especially when it comes to color vibrancy hence the need to digital lightroom it. Is this normal or can the camera somehow capture everything perfect?

  • Dave November 24, 2008 11:33 am

    Great post...(seems as though it was written for me)
    I just keep pushing (the shutter) and enjoying...
    I try not to look for that "great shot" or look at a scene
    with the end result in mind, though i find myself
    doing this more and more these days. The journey is
    my destination. Enjoy...

  • Christina November 24, 2008 10:12 am

    Thank you for sharing. Great post, I think we all can relate.

  • Mandy November 24, 2008 08:11 am

    Thanks for this article, I have loved photography since a young age but I had other members of the family who were very good, so my photography never seemed worthy enough to share.

    I am my own worst critic and the quality of photography out there is so amazing that it can be very overwhelming. I have felt like that for years until recently...

    ...when I realised I can't think like that, I have to keep going and learning and enjoying my photography. And that's made me want to share my journey for better or worse. Critisism is part of photography whether it's me or others, but I still get a real kick out of it. I just want to improve (eventually) and enjoy it...

  • Jack Fussell November 24, 2008 08:09 am

    This was a much needed reminder. I start to feel better about myself and then I see the photos of others and I'm suddenly reminded of how far I have to go. Thanks for the reminder that great photos come through a journey...not an instant destination.

  • Balliolman November 24, 2008 07:03 am

    Today, I needed read the letter and the spirit of this article ...

    Thanks for writing and posting it.

  • Jason November 24, 2008 04:12 am

    Great article and one that could apply in any field, not just photography. Well said.

  • Karen November 24, 2008 04:10 am

    I've come so close to giving up many, many times but I always go back to it. It's something I've been doing since I was a little girl. I'll never give up completely.

  • Roddy November 24, 2008 03:38 am

    Excellent inspirational article. This gives me the courage to start with my photography. Never give up is the right word for beginners like me.

  • Lindyannajones November 24, 2008 02:29 am

    Martin,

    As long as photography was something I did privately, those "monkeys" that live in back of my brain were pretty quiet. The day I posted my first photo that irrevocably changed as began to look outside myself for affirmation and discovered a rather harsh critic living inside my head.

    The experience was so unnerving I spent about a month asking myself some fundamental questions about photography starting with "why take a photo at all?" I also revisited the fundamental questions about the purposes of art. That was helpful. The results of that study continue to serve me well. I still find it useful to ask myself: now why are you taking this photo? For the sheer beauty? To remember? To report? To share? The reason doesn't matter. I just want to know.

    I also ended up writing a 7 point manifesto that guides my thinking when I post. The key point is this. I affirm for myself that I like my photo. I think it's "good" or I wouldn't post. If I don't make that point explicit, then I run the risk of being discouraged when 57 people view my photo and no one leaves a comment.

    Oddly, I have found this dance between affirming for my self and interacting with others character building.
    When I don't get much feedback and my mind plays it like a three act opera that's just plain silly. I've laughed at myself more in the past 6 months than I have in a long time.

    Martin, your article is the one I wanted to write. You have done it so much better than I ever could. I've copied your article and intend to read it often. Thank you for taking the time to write, for sharing your private "monkeys" and the encouragement to stay the course.

  • Rosh November 24, 2008 02:11 am

    What an excellent article.

    Traditionally photographers can be very competitive. Especially commercial photographers.

    It is important for photographers to work with others to grow their knowledge and abilities. I've joined various groups and associations through the years and they have been most beneficial.

    Here are some photography organizations to consider as good resources.... Your local camera club, ASMP, NPPA, PPA, NANPA and of course this blog is a great resource for beginning photographers

    Rosh
    http://www.newmediaphotographer.com

  • matthijs November 24, 2008 01:50 am

    Great article which nails it for me. The great thing about the internet and sites like flickr is that you get to see a lot of great photo's. On the other hand, i sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed if you see the quality which is out there.

    Look at the portfolio of inspiring pro - photographers. What do you see? The good Pictures. What don’t you see ? The thousands of poor photos.. And without them the photographer would never have come so far. They belong to the journey. Only those who make mistakes can learn from them.

    And you are so right there... but sometimes it takes a blogpost like this just to remind me.

    Thanks!

  • Plug1 November 24, 2008 01:46 am

    "What don’t you see ? The thousands of poor photos.. And without them the photographer would never have come so far. They belong to the journey." >>> very well put. thanks!

  • sebastiaen November 24, 2008 01:18 am

    thanks :)

  • c wylie November 24, 2008 01:03 am

    Sometimes I feel like I've learned so many little photography details, but I miss the ability to make the whole picture gel. This is when I remind myself to just keep taking pictures.. and looking for images that are inspirational.

  • waximal November 24, 2008 12:59 am

    Very nice Articel. It´s good to see that there are some small international friendships between the different photography-blogs.

    Many greetings from germany :-)

    @martin: Schöner Beitrag Martin. Kommt mir so bekannt vor :-)

  • Kim November 24, 2008 12:35 am

    Being a graphic designer ,artist, musician and newbie photographer, I have felt all of these points before and some even now. :) No matter how long you do it, these thoughts creep up on you. Never give up is a great title for this post and it was very inspiring to remember that you aren't alone in your pursuits and someone has been there before.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Kim

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