I thought I’d share some inspirational quotes. After all, we can always use several short inspirational quotes about photography, can’t we?
As a bonus, these quotes can inform our lives in positive ways. You’ll be able to see why I might gravitate toward some of these, as someone who does night photography and long exposure.
However, all of us can be inspired by them. They can make our holidays more joyful. Perhaps if we embrace them, they can make our lives more joyful and meaningful.
When we hear this quote, we probably automatically think of portraits. You, me, them, in the right light, in the right time … we can be extraordinary. But of course, as a night photographer who does light painting, I live and breathe this. Even castoff, abandoned “blight” and “eyesores” take on new life in the right light, at the right time.
“I began to realize that the camera sees the world differently than the human eye and that sometimes those differences can make a photograph more powerful than what you actually observed.” — Galen Rowell
Whether it’s because the image is focused on one particular subject and the rest of the world falls away or because it captures the light or perspective in a unique way, a photograph can become more powerful than what we actually saw. As photographers, we can catch an intimate expression, hug or someone at the height of jubilance. And if we add additional lighting, photograph in black and white, or do night photography, this can be wildly different from what we observed.
“Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.” — Man Ray
One of the most common questions when someone asks about a photo is “What camera equipment did you use?” There’s so much gear capable of stunning photographs that this often doesn’t matter unless it’s very specific. Moving on from that, the more common questions ask “how.” Learning technique is important. But quite often, asking “why” elicits great stories, insightful information, emotion, and inspiration. Perhaps all of us can ask “why” more often.
“Be ruthless with space; don’t waste it. It’s all you have to get your message across.” — David Cargill
Move in. Get close. Leave negative space. Be aware of not only your subject, but what’s around it. Do you need context? Would it be better to leave something out? Is something distracting? Can we alter our camera’s perspective? Or failing that, can we crop our photo a little better? What story can we tell? You have a rectangle or square for your image. Use it wisely.
“Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments. Remember them and use them as inspiration as you go on to the next thing. When you venture outside your comfort zone, wherever the starting point may be, it’s kind of a big deal.” — Chris Guillebeau
I wrote an article about impostor syndrome. And I’ve written about having small beginnings.
When we set out to do something, we initially might have humble beginnings. We’re frequently awful at something. But this is the way of life. Things evolve from nothing. A tiny seed in a field can turn into a meadow of radiant flowers. But a tiny seed in the middle of the street turns into nothing.
We’re frequently told, “You can’t do that.” We hear that creating something is for other people. Other people are talented. They have a gift. But not us. How tragic it is to think, “Those people, they had this beautiful talent. They create beautiful art. They create beautiful photographs. But not me. I don’t have that inside me.”
How different our lives might be if we internalized a different message. We could say, “I’m not a great photographer. But so many great photographers came from humble beginnings. I may seem like I lack promise. But so many of us do. If I put myself in a position to grow, I could blossom into something special. I could create something amazing.”
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing people begin the journey. They create a beautiful night photograph. You can see the smile, the gears shifting as they realize that what they are creating points the way to something special within them. It’s often a humble beginning. But that’s how it is. They might begin to think, “I could blossom into something special. I could create something amazing.”
And doing so might involve taking a step outside our comfort zone. That’s OK. That’s when we grow.
Best wishes for an inspirational year.
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