The Next Step?

I have the camera & I have the ability to make good images so what should my next move be?

So at this moment in time i'm thinking could i make a living from this ? Its my dream to get that one commission that would get me out of the rat race but would it really get me out of the race?. The competition is fierce and you only have to put #travelphotography into instagram to find out there are millions of people all chasing that same dream. But this should not deter you or me from doing this thing that we love. As i go along on this wonderful journey its so easy for me to forget why i do photography. I do it because i genuinely love it and like i have stated in previous post's its like a form of mediation as it gets me out of me, which is priceless. But this does not stop me from dreaming of doing this for a living and after hours upon hours of research i have come to realise its a lot harder than i thought as Its a saturated market out there.  So do i throw the towel in ? sell my beloved camera ? sit at home waiting for that email or that message on facebook? or do i get out there and pound the streets for hours on end? because the image wont come to me. I have to get out there and learn from every mistake which is only going to make me better. Giving up is never the answer and this is not just about me doing photography for a living its about life in general because who knows what is in store for us and i would rather fail in trying than to have never tried at all. And has my very good friend Jed always points out to me its about letting go and letting it happen.  

But that does not take away my dream of doing this for a living but the more i push it the more it gets away from me and this causes frustration which then seeps into my work and then i go through that stagnation period which cuts off my creative juices and then it pops that little seed of doubt into my head about why i'm doing this and before you know it i'm back on the merry go round of self doubt. (see my previous blog about "Losing the Groove" )

So for me at this very moment in time as i sit here writing this blog i'm at a place where i have decided not push it too much because if its going to happen then it will happen i just have to keep chipping away by working on my photography and keep networking with like minded people and avoid the negative ones and who knows that dream job just might arrive but in the mean time i have to be grateful for what i have and stop trying to push square pegs into round holes. 



Losing the Groove.

I think most if not all Street Photographers "Lose their Groove" at some point and this blockage of creativity can last for days or weeks and at this moment in time  i'm in that situation.

I can only speak of my own experience and it can be frustrating when you are out on the street and nothing is happening . I like to call it "Right Place - Wrong Time Syndrome" 

I can find myself questioning what i'm doing  and i can easily forget the real reason i do street photography. Maybe i'm too critical of my work ,maybe i'm looking to hard and should try and keep it simple. But what ever it is it can be disabling especially when you are gripped with this self doubt.

So how do i get myself back "Into the Groove" ?

The first thing is to have a break from the street for a few days and recharge the creative batteries and spend some time going over images from previous street walks that i have done , i have found loads of little gems that i forgot i had.

Pick up your favourite photography book and sit down with a coffee and really study the images , look at the colours ,the composition and the style of photography. My 2 favourite books for inspiration are Bruce Davidson's Subway & Ernst Haas Colour Correction.

Use your camera around the house - I like taking portraits of my son using different techniques like flash , playing with the  camera settings and trying something different to get the creative juices flowing again.

Limit the use of social media !! For me i can find this even more of a distraction as it can put that little seed of doubt into my head when i see all these wonderful images from exotic places and i'm sat at home watching the rain pour down in Manchester.

Listen to Photography podcasts- I'm a massive fan of the candid frame podcast presented by the wonderful Ibarionex Perello . For me this is the best photography podcast out there. -

Plan a trip to another city. You can get stuck in a rut shooting the same streets day in day out , i know we all can't afford expensive trips abroad but i recently booked a flight to Brussels for £38, so it can be done on a budget. Fly out on the first flight and come back the same day on the last flight.. Or take a train to your nearest City and get lost in the streets.

Losing your Groove is never permanent and it always passes but its what you do while your stuck that matters.

Portrait of my Son using Flash.

Portrait of my Son using Flash.