I was sitting with a good friend and a senior photographer, Mr. Ashok Kochhar – we occasionally collaborate on conducting photography workshops. When I enquired how his sessions were doing, his response did not surprise me. “I must have trained at least 4,000 students over the years but have not met one who had the same passion for photography as I have. I don’t like to take workshops any more,” he said.
I could not agree with him more. There are many photographers out there whose work I admire and respect; they will always inspire me. But an overwhelming majority of photographers in India seem to fall into two categories:
* The Show-Offs: This lot flaunt themselves as photographers by sporting expensive equipment but not putting in enough effort to practice and learn continually.
* The Old Winers: Technically very skilled, but churn out ‘art’ that gives you a sense of déjà vu; that originality in content and style is missing.
A lot of people mistake enthusiasm for passion. It is easy to enthusiastic. But most enthusiasts just stop at expressing a desire to do something. Passion goes a step further – this is where the effort comes in. Like everything else, there are no shortcuts to success. You have to put in the labour, and be smart about it. You need to feel that desire to excel, and be motivated and energetic enough to make it happen.
If you fancy yourself as a photographer – amateur or professional – get the passion in. Don’t make any pretences about it. You need to make your money (spent on gear) and time pay – all it needs is your soul to feel the art of photography.
Don’t obsesses with technology – that is secondary. Buying equipment and learning how to use it is easy. It is what you do with the hardware and the knowledge that matters. That is the differentiator. Walking around town with a camera slung over your neck does not make you a photographer; shooting does.
And shooting mindfully. Immerse yourself in the art. Understand and appreciate the work of others. Keep learning. Keep evolving. Keep shooting. Take pride in your efforts. Stay passionate.
What are you clicking today?
‘Photography Tips’ is a series of posts for all photographers including beginners, hobbyists, amateurs and even prosumers and professionals . What I share are not-so-technical but anecdotal and experiential tips. Follow all posts under the Photography Tips category – and feel free to post any further queries to me in comments below or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to join an offline session on travel blogging / photography / filmmaking, check out the Kunzum Media Lab.