Those were the words I heard from someone recently, in regard to having an idea that you’re passionate about, that people don’t seem to be responding to. That it’s worthwhile to keep at it. To grow it. To find an audience, even if it’s a niche audience, because what you’re doing is eventually going to go.
I remember meeting one of the Zucker brothers (who produced the Airplane movies) when I was a New Jersey photojournalist at an event in Princeton, and when I told him I wanted to work in film, he said you can make it, but you just can’t quit. Everyone who sticks with it makes it. The problem is, very few do. Most quit. Actually almost all quit. So, don’t quit. His words of advice to making it in the crazy tough world of Hollywood.
I would say that’s true for all of the arts, and certainly anything that seems impossible to do. It takes tenacity, and that’s not only a great gift, it’s a rare one. Not because it’s difficult to keep at it, but more because it’s difficult to be so passionate about it that you want to keep at it.
I am a writer in addition to being a photographer. I love to write. I work at home in my office as a photographer, editor, and sometimes web guy. I work alone. When I get done work for the day, I love to go out to a pub and write. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m at a place in my town called Pizza Bar 66, there’s a guitar singer/songwriter belting out some tunes, it feels like Thanksgiving is already here, and I’m writing.
My Father asks why I don’t take a night off. I explain it’s not work for me. I love to create. I love to write. To him, writing is a chore–there’s no passion for it.
For me, writing is creative. Fun. Exhilarating to have created something, whether it’s a scene for a movie, or a blog post like this. It exists. It didn’t before I got here and wouldn’t if I didn’t show up. (Plus they have good craft IPA beer, and $4 cans all the time!)
I’ve often mentioned to friends who say they want to write but don’t, I’ve suggested maybe they don’t want to write. Maybe they just like the idea of being a writer, but really don’t like to write.
Butt in chair. That’s where writing happens. Not walking around, thinking about writing. Not staring out the window. In front of a computer, or typewriter, if you’re old school. (I can relate, I wrote the first draft of a novel this year on a typewriter, an Olympia SG1!)
It’s not a chore to do what you love to do. In fact, I say if you want to do something, no one can stop you. Because you will practice, or create, or study–nothing can stop the passionate!
That’s how it is for me and writing. And photography. You’ve heard me go on about how important family portraits are. You can expect more, because that’s not just a marketing line, that’s what I believe. Family photographs are my passion. They’re historical photos for future generations, and they’re important to be made now, so family members know how important they are to us.
I have a portrait session with a family tomorrow. That is the ultimate Thanksgiving gift–to care about creating lasting photographs when family is gathered.
I sometimes wonder how much we are gaining as technology progresses. Without printed photos, I doubt very many people are going to see Grandma’s photos on that folder on their K: drive where they backup all their photos.
It’s difficult to save a TV show or a video and display it in an art gallery since it’s a form that requires another device. Which is why a photograph, printed and framed, can be displayed in a museum or gallery–it doesn’t need another thing to show it.
It just is. It’s a piece of art. It exists free of electricity and devices.
The beauty of photography is quality images of our family members, and how we get to keep them forever with us, even though they may not be here with us next Thanksgiving.
But on our walls, they will always live with us! Create family portraits. It’s the most important thing you can do for your family. (Because we don’t last forever!)
And if there’s something you’re passionate about, keep going. You’re one step closer today. And with constant forward motion, there’s no stopping you!