Learning From Inspirational Photographers Part 2

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I was fortunate enough to participate in The NineDots Gathering. Since I flew into the UK for the event, I didn’t really know anyone. However, as day two began, I felt welcomed by the warm greetings and smiles on the faces of everyone I met the day before. There was an instant sense of belonging and that was all I needed to energize me for the upcoming speakers.

Tyler Wirken

Tyler kicked off day number two. I was drawn into his speech right away when he spoke about how photographers should find their purpose. If at your funeral all they can say is that you’re a good photographer, then you have failed miserably at life.

However, not only should photographers look for their purpose, they should also look for the 1% when they shoot. If you’re so busy looking for the “wedding photos” then you’ll miss the 1% moments. At the end of the day, the photos are about the subject and not about the photo.

The photos should be shot with your vision. But, do you shoot for yourself or for your client? You have to shoot for yourself! Your style is the 1%. Your clients should share in your vision. You have to sell your style, your purpose, to the clients.

Spencer Lum

Spencer was incredibly inspirational! He gave a great talk about how to be different and really stand out in an already crowded photography space. You shouldn’t strive to be like others, you have to embrace something inside of you so you can be different. If we continue trying to be like everyone else, we let creativity die.

Photographers have a choice to either live in fear or live by their potential. Choose to live in the now and ignore the fear. Great photographers should look for the deficit because that’s where the opportunities are.

Lanny & Erika Mann

Lanny & Erika Mann
Where do I begin with Lanny and Erika? This award winning photography duo not only spoke powerfully, they also gave out maple syrup! More importantly, they are photographers we can all learn from. They encourage all to get out of our comfort zone because that’s where photography happens.

Similar to Spencer, they spoke about how fear can get in the way in the pursuit of excellence. How does a photographer get over the fear? By making it better! We all want to find something to make us better photographers, though we don’t always like the work that it involves. But as Lanny and Erika said, “If you want to be a great photographer, you’re going to want the work and effort that gets you there.”

A great way to be better is to make mistakes! After all, we’re human. We have to force ourselves into unfamiliar territory. That means we also have to seek situations where adversity is a possibility.

They finished off by saying that we have to engage the heart. We have to make it about our clients and their story. It may be stressful, but we have to harness the stress and turn it into energy.

Go out of your comfort zone and make mistakes.