Monday, April 9, 2012

Learning from the pros takes work

The wonderful thing about the internet is the vast amount of information there is for learning. Many of those sources are available for FREE! From blogs to videos and online schools. The best thing is that many of these are maintained by working professionals with incredible reputations.

Bryan Peterson
Off the top of my head I can name half a dozen pro photographers that most members in my photo club recognize; Dave Hobby, Joe McNally, Rick Sammon, Chase Jarvis, Bryan Peterson, Scott Kelby... the list goes on. I also find that everyone has their favorites. But if you stop and think about it, these are professional photographers with vast amounts of knowledge, incredible reputations, endless creativity and still find the time to share all that with us on many free platforms.

David Hobby has one of the best rated photography blogs; Strobist. He went from a staff photographer at a struggling newspaper to an international sensation teaching novices how to light using inexpensive speed-lights. Photo suppliers have even name products after him.

Scott Kelby
Scott Kelby is a well know photographer and noted author who somehow finds the time to maintain blogs at and on Google+, produce a television show at called "The Grid", run an online school and do lecture tours.

Joe McNally, Bryan Peterson, Chase Jarvis, Rick Sammon and hundreds more maintain their reputation through hard work. They have successfully branded themselves to the point that their names alone are synonymous with quality, accessible education. All that takes an enormous amount of work. And that in itself is the point of this post.

What separate these pros from so many countless "accomplished" photographers is not in their skill. Browse through, Zenfolio, Flickr and other online photo hubs and you'll see the works of many really great photographers. No, it is not skill alone. These guys are where they are because they push the envelope. They do what others don't feel like doing. They get up early to get that perfect shot and stay up late writing, editing and filming. Of course many of these have built up a business and have assistants, but that just reenforces my point. They do what needs to be done.

Chase Jarvis
Now I understand we all can't be a Scott Kelby or Chase Jarvis. Heck, many of us could care less and are content being an advanced hobbyist. That doesn't mean you can't take an example from these guys and putting forth some effort to push yourself in you hobby. Get up early to catch that great light. Travel a little further to get that great landscape. Network a bit more to get that great model in front of your lens. If nothing else, push yourself to get out of the 'snap-shooter' mentality and into thinking more like a pro. You don't have to be a working pro to shoot like a pro. All you need is the discipline of one and that is attainable.

Food for thought...

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