In this post we’ll talk about EXCUSES not to do what you wanna do: becoming a photographer.
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Disclaimer: one thing you’ll notice in all photos from this period is how “over retouched” they are compared with my current style. The reason for that is simple: I learned how to retouch BEFORE I shot with my first model and I was trying to be popular, so I was doing the popular thing.
I haven’t mentioned yet but when I was a teenager growing up in mid 90’s my bedroom walls were covered with photos of the supermodels: Cindy, Naomi, Claudia…
No I wasn’t into photography but I always loved the way they looked so they decorated my bedroom! When I decided I wanted to shoot with models, these are some of the excuses I had:
- I don’t have time;
- I’m not good enough;
- I’m 35yo, what am I going to talk about with a 18yo beautiful girl? We have nothing in common;
- I’m a foreigner with bad English and strong accent.
So let’s talk about each of these excuses.
I don’t have time
At the time, my life was pretty much sitting in front of a computer from 8am to 4:30pm, at work, going home and sitting in front of a computer until 7pm playing computer games, having dinner, going back to that game, then sitting in the couch to watch something with my wife.
So it was time to decide if I REALLY wanted to become a photographer. You have to MAKE time. Things with me have to be a bit radical so I deleted every single game I had, not only in my computer but also my phone. Yes I had some time in public transport I could be playing Candy Crush, but by deleting that game from my phone I had more time to READ about photography.
Also by not playing computer games I had more time to go out and shoot after work, editing, and studying.
It’s worth mentioning that this little change made me lose 16kg in 2 months.
I’m not good enough
And I never will be.
Once you understand that you can either give up, or work harder to get better and better. And you’ll finally realise you’ll never be good enough if you don’t go out and try.
It’s easy to think you’re bad at what you wanna do if you haven’t done it yet!!!
I knew the theory, I had the gear and now I have the time.
I’m a 35yo man with nothing in common with 18yo girls
The reality of this is: I worried a lot about talking to a model. What do I say? They’re gonna think I’m old and stupid! I mean, I like Led Zeppelin and have no idea what they listen to – and I’m pretty sure it’s not Zeppelin!!!
Do you think I was worrying over nothing? I was.
One thing I learned since starting this journey is: you can always find something in common with ANYONE, don’t matter their age, gender, religion, place of birth. Some of my best friends today, are half my age!
I’m a foreigner with bad English and strong accent
Now this is a tricky one.
I know how lucky I am to live in a country like Australia, a country with so many different cultures all living together! But when I moved here in 2009, I changed.
Throughout my life, I have been an outspoken happy surrounded by friends person. When I arrived in Australia, I became more reserved and quiet. That’s what happen when you move to a country that speaks a different language than yours. It’s scary and depressing, not being yourself.
But a few years before I started all this, my employer decided to move our office from Murarrie (with nothing around) to South Brisbane (with a pub downstairs and no free parking). Not only that, but our office went from having 18 ish people to having around 60, from different departments and locations. I was the IT guy so apart from the receptionist, I was the only one who knew everyone.
I started a Friday pub culture there. ME, the guy with bad English and strong accent! I got people together!
Remember how worried I was about my English later in this series, when I get to the part I start TEACHING!
So what if you have all these excuses? Yes they are excuses. Things you tell yourself so you don’t go and do what you wanna do.
As I write this, I’m a 38yo (almost 39yo but who’s counting) born in Brazil, moving to Australia at the age of 28, without having learned English properly, and I now photograph beautiful models that could be my daughters (I see them as my little sisters but you get what I’m saying) and can connect with them in ways that most photographers can’t, and I teach others how to become photographers.
So if I can do it, I’m sure you can too!
What to expect next
- Finding a photographer you admire and making sure you attend their workshops (in my case, that’s Peter Coulson);
- Hunter Creative – a Facebook thingy that has a few pros and lots of cons (and that’s why I haven’t done it again);
- Shoots with a big team (getting together with more than just the model – working with HMUAs, designers, etc);
- Networking events.