Monday, March 2, 2009

Photographers Motto: "Be Prepared"

"Oh man, if I only had my camera!" (slaps own forehead).

How many times have you said this? How many times have you heard someone else say this? Are you serious about your photography? Then you need to be prepared. You need to be ready to take the shot. You need to have a camera with you always.

I always carry my camera with me. I play poker. I have a regular Friday night game that I have been going to for years. Most of the time, on the thirty minute drive home, it's pitch black and I can't see anything that isn't illuminated by the headlights of my truck. Occasionally, the horizon will be just beginning to glow as I wind my way through the tree lined roads on my way home. For five years, that's 250 drives home after this card game, I've had my camera in the bag on the seat next to me in my truck. I never once stopped to use it, until two weeks ago.




Was it luck that enabled me to get this shot? No. It was being prepared.

Louis Pasteur wasn't known for his photography, instead, in 1862 he developed a process for treating liquids to reduce the numbers of harmful bacteria in them, making them safe to drink, Pasteurization as it is known. How is this relevant to photography? It's not, but a little extra knowledge never hurt anybody. What makes Louis Pasteur relevant to this conversation is his semi-famous quote "Chance favors the prepared mind." This is right up there with the unattributable sports quote, "Good teams make their own luck."

I don't believe in luck. I don't believe in fate. Both of these concepts require you to surrender control of your own destiny to some diaphanous idea. You are in control of what happens to you. Know your trade. Know as much as you can about what you are doing. Read, practice, read more, practice more. Learn not only how, but learn why. If you want to work in a particular specialty, learn how that business works. Find out who the important people and companies in the trade are. Learn about the hierarchy and how things are done.

Don't sit around waiting for your big break. Go find it. Put your knowledge to use. Practice. Get feedback, apply new knowledge, and be prepared to take any opportunity that comes your way. Don't assume that another chance is coming, because maybe there isn't.

Make the odds work for you instead of against you. Do you want to get a photograph published in a magazine? You are probably going to have to submit more than once. All other things being equal, the photographers that get the most images published, are the ones that submit the most images. The photographers that win the most awards are the ones that enter the most contests. The photographers whose work is seen by the most people are the photographers that send out the most work to be seen!

23 comments:

Donna said...

Being ready is the best kind of "luck"!

Dulce said...

Great photos.

Anonymous said...

Man, you're right on the money!!!! I don't always carry my camera with me and I've paid for it! Now, I'm trying to remember to take it! You're right about being prepared, posting as much as you can!

Thanks Scott! I always learn something from you!

Kelley

Lorissa J. Longfellow said...

So true Scott! Well said, too.
Now if I could just get my husband to pull over quickly when he is driving. LOL

lskcrochet said...

Yes! I agree! you do need a camera at all times. I have a camera on my smart phone and I still carry another one with me. Mostly because my kids are young and they are always exciting to photograph! Great Pics BTW!
http://lskcrochet.blogspot.com/

Debra said...

WOW! Love this blog site. I want my blog to be this amazing when it grows up! Thank you for the time and energy you put in to this.

Jennifer Johnson said...

You could already have coffee table book published called, '250 drives home' with photos of all the parts of your weekly drive. So big of me to be so ambitious for you...so sorry. I'll go create something of my own now! Rock on!

espionage said...

Amazing. One of the best blogs I have come across so far. So raw, and real. I am adding you to my list of links on my blog, if that's ok. Did I mention gorgeous photography?

Robert said...

Great blog. I've been the victim of my own stupidity quite a bit and unfortunately I still leave the house without the Nikon sometimes, and still miss shots. Recently, I missed a scene that was so incredible I felt bad about it for a week.

whimsicalpam said...

Everytime I check in on your blog, you seem to be as anonymous said "right on the money"
I never thought that making jewelry would teach me how to use a camera, wow was I wrong! My camera comes with me everywhere, I'm no photographer, but I'm better than I was before.
Learn, learn, learn and then learn some more!
great read, as usual:)

Helen said...

That really is an awesome photo. How lucky you are to have captured it. I never carry a camera although my job requires me to. I did take pictures of a newly born baby deer once only to find out I had never taken the lens cap off and my coworkers still pick on me about it... photography skills have I none.

KIM said...

Being prepared created a gorgeous image!

Arty Allsorts said...

Maybe I ought to take my P&S out of retirement! My DSLR is too bulky to take everywhere and I would worry about it getting bashed in my spacious but unpadded handbag. The image accompanying this post is gorgeous - well caught :)

My Jewelry by Dee said...

Thank you! I do need to take my camera with..I always regret not having it!

Endless Memories Photography said...

I was going to post your name in my blog as a "Scott B told me to always be prepared!" LOL. I remembered this blog Friday afternoon after the fact. But you know something, I bet you if I'd had my camera with me, I wouldn't have found the end of the rainbow! Just a feeling! But I would've had some amazing rainbow shots! UGH!

Endless Memories Photography said...

Thursday I mean... I always read your blogs wise one. ;) Hugs..

sherry said...

I'm heading off to bed with food for thought. Thanks, Scott.

alamodestuff said...

Wow, you never know! There is always beauty to be found in our every day routine!

Waterrose said...

Beautiful photo...I'm so glad you were prepared.

Delia (GLAM GIRL) said...

you have opened my eyes once more :) thanks

Home exchange said...

That's a tremendous photograph. Great having the camera to hand! I hate reaching for it and not finding it there in those precious moments!

Mark said...

Awesome pictures mate. How did you take such wonderful picyures

Danka Antas said...

Thank you Scott for your wise advice. As a photographer, I am beginner. Your blog and especially post "Be Prepared" made me realize some vital things regarding the profession. And, by the way, the photo is really beautiful. Such unexpected moments of awe that nature gives us from time to time, I equal to divinity or a sort of unity with divine.
And thank you for the chance of seeing this great photo and learning from you.
Danka