Photography – you gotta work at it. Mike Browne Photography Coaching


something I’m noticing increasingly in
the world today is how we are addicted to instant gratification we want
pictures without any work when you look on Facebook and social media you may
notice there’s all these ads coming on for programs that will take your crappy
landscape picture and turn it into something astonishing
well how much gratification is there in that because you haven’t done it and
somebody else has done it for you a bunch of programmers somewhere else did
it for you there’s people who want to take stunning
images they buy the most expensive camera excuse me and then go for a walk
with the dog in the park on a drizzly day somewhere in the UK in the autumn
and expect a breathtaking picture well no you need to put a bit more work and
effort into it than that you need to go somewhere where the cool stuff
happening but you also have to know your camera you have to know what it is that
you’re doing what it is that you want so how do you learn photography well that
is also part of this journey because camera manufactures will tell you that
if you buy their camera with this doodad gadget or whiz-bang thing then you’re
going to be brilliant to it photography well it’s not true there’s only about
five controls on a camera you actually need to know how to use and they’re
covered in my beginners course for goodness sake they’re really not that
advanced and all the cameras doing is juggling those around it’s about how
much effort you put in so how did I learn photography it’s a question I get
quite a lot well I was into photography as a hobby I wasn’t particularly good at
it but then I had a life-changing conversation with somebody that led me
to to think yeah you know I’m gonna take this on so basically I spent a year I I
was unemployed so I was on income support I told the Employment Services
what I was doing so they want to get any trouble I said I want to retrain and
they said in those days they were very helpful they said yeah no worries so I
spent a year just reading books and practicing I got myself a number a job
carrying the bags for a professional photographer because I just wanted to be
in that environment you know I just wanted to see what it was like
when I did get a little bit of money for the occasional job I went and told him
ployment services because I want to get in there any trouble and they were
completely brilliant as long as he declared it now an interesting thing I
find in this is confidence because for many many many years actually after I
got going I really had trouble saying I’m a photographer of just standing tall
and going you know it was sort of said what do you do for a living I’m a
photographer I would get really rather hung up and say things like whoa no no I
take a few pictures and stuff like that and kind of squirmed a bit I don’t know
why maybe it’s because that goal that dream was possibly a little bit too big
for me initially the thing is you mustn’t be scared of your goal or your
dream I had spent what six months photographing weddings with my then
mentor Billie passatti at part for the graphics in Southampton who is just a
loveliest guy and he was sort of my surrogate father sadly he died some
years ago but we were having loads of fun and I used to photograph weddings
with Billy but I didn’t have to take the responsibility I was really confident we
were shooting great pictures I’d learnt loads but then I had that first wedding
on my own where I did have to take responsibility and trust me it’s one of
the scariest things I’ve ever done the sweat was just running down my back you
know I just thought what if I stuff this out this is a milestone event in
somebody’s life this isn’t just me taking pretty pictures this is big stuff
this is grown-up this is important it’s interesting how we move on from that by
stretching ourselves by putting in some work by putting in some effort not
looking for instant gratification you can then move forward and you can kind
of go beyond that fear part you’ve probably seen me in various videos over
the years with my screensaver on I get a lot of questions about it and all those
pictures going back and forth and you know what this is the whole news tree
sometimes I lean in the doorway of the office and I just I stand and I stare at
that screensaver and I think back to that first wedding and that’s sweat
running down the back of my neck and I think wow what a journey
that’s what I would say is gratification you mustn’t be lazy you’ve got a to have
that feeling of wow what a journey to actually stop for a moment and look at
yourself and think you know why I have grown a lot you’ve got to put in the
work you’ve got to give up the instant gratification so how do you do that well
personally I was always looking for inspiration I seek it out YouTube is a
wonderful place for inspiration is packed with the most inspirational
people from people you know like climbing mountains but they haven’t got
any legs to – I don’t know what I can’t think of any Tony Robbins as a go-to guy
for me I just love listening to him speak and listen to him tackle things
and the way things because remember everything in the world begins with a
thought up in here the very fact you’re watching this video is because at some
point in time somebody had a thought they thought wouldn’t be cool if we
could watch some videos online if somebody hadn’t had that thought we
wouldn’t have the internet you wouldn’t be watching this video seek out
inspiration a current favorite of mine right now right at the moment he’s Elon
Musk I mean for goodness sake you imagine it he stood there saying I’m
gonna create reusable rockets and we’re gonna fly to Mars and to begin with
people together yeah right I’m a you know and they’re gonna walk off out the
other way and now he’s created reusable rockets and a whole bunch of other stuff
how does that man think you know I love watching you on musk at the moment
listening to him because it’s a lesson for me and it inspires me to try and be
better to try and go a bit further to have a purpose and a goal it’s important
set yourself a goal because I don’t know what that goal might be for you it could
just be – I know maybe you want to win the camera club competition maybe you
want to see your work published in a magazine I don’t know what it is but set
yourself a goal because it will help you define your purpose and to reach your
goal I recommend you ask yourself some very powerful questions don’t ask other
people don’t go to your friends don’t give your family don’t know other people
saying you know what do you think I should do how am I going to do this is
this the best idea should I do something different
ask yourself because only you know what is that you love and the only way you’re
going to discover how to find it is to ask yourself powerful questions do I
really want to do this that’s a good one if the answers yes it’s like okay how do
I do it don’t go straightaway into that all the reasons you can’t so let’s say
you’re thinking you know why I want to go hiking in the pool and I want to
photograph the Himalayas and then instantly there’s a million reasons why
you can’t do it immediately you just go off into we go off on sorry I’m not
going to say you we human beings go off into a tailspin about our yeah but it’s
expensive and I can’t get the time off work and it’s probably dangerous and
somebody might kill me because it’s a different culture whatever that story
may be for each of us as individuals but the thing is ignore those little voices
and just go I want to go and do it so go and do it because you know what very
often when you go to climb the mountain you find that the mountain is far less
scary then your imagination ever made it to be so what is it that you love and
why and where can you find that now I know that I’m being very life-coaching
here but this really is about anything in life but we’re talking about
photographers here and trust me camera settings are just a tiny teeny
little step to that purpose to what you want to do it’s no point knowing exactly
how you’re I don’t know hyperfocal distance works or your camera operates
in multi point autofocus mega zillion mode or something if you’re just
standing in a car park in the rain you’ve got to put the effort in to make
something happen to go somewhere that inspires you Nepal might be nothing for
you your idea of heaven might be just sitting in the corner in the local Zoo
watching what the monkeys are doing and waiting for those great little moments
there’s a lady called Pauline who came on my beginners workshop some years ago
and if you’re watching this Pauline I know you’re squirming but Pauline came
on my one day beginners workshop some time ago she’s never done any of my
downloadable courses what she has done is she has worked and worked and worked
and worked she amongst other things works as a
shepherd s because she loves it and she has become a master of what
she photographs if I say to you sheet pitches that just sounds like yeah
really pictures of sheep and your mom just you know look at her Pauline is
amazing her photography is brilliant she has invested the time she’s gone to the
place where there’s things that she finds fascinating in she loves she’s
learnt how to photograph it what the lights doing where it’s coming from the
optimum moment to press the shutter so it’s important that you understand why
you love what you do as well so I know this could be taken as just being a job
but I mean you know why do you love what you do and I’m talking photography here
why is it that you love it what is it about it that excites you what is it
that lights your light I was a general photographer you know professional
photographer for many many years and I still do the occasional commercial shoot
I’m lucky enough now that criteria are that it’s going to be interesting it’s
going to be enjoyable and I’m going to like doing it otherwise I’m not gonna
touch I don’t know how much money you throw at me I’m not gonna touch it
unless it’s gonna fulfill those three but what I’ve learned now is that I love
playing a part in Eureka moments it’s now the teaching of the photography it’s
the sharing of my knowledge and the experiences that I’ve had that actually
lights my light I’m incredibly lucky in that I had an interview with 500px and
they okayed who interviewed me said that many photographers have become trainers
because they’ve had to because the photography industry as a whole is
constrainted but he called me an educator by choice and I think that’s
true because I did look at teaching because I was getting bored with the
photography it wasn’t a case of I wanted to do that okay so what does this got to
do with your photography well where do you want to go with it what is your
purpose what is your goal ask yourself those questions and look for the answers
within you not in other people not in other things and don’t start looking at
all the reasons why you can’t achieve those things and it’s not about your
camera kit or let me say this it’s very rare
about your camera kit very often any old camera will do a cameras the cameras a
cameras a camera every week I’m asked many times shall I buy this camera or
that camera or is the I’ve got an 18 to 55 so do I need an 18 to 200 mm
lens and is that lens but generally speaking it makes no difference
they don’t make crap cameras anymore because social media has done away with
that if a company make a totally rubbish camera and everybody in the world is
going that thing’s rubbish it’s gonna disappear it’s going to go out of
business very quickly it’s gonna get recalled so ain’t gonna happen just know
what it is that excites you and take steps towards reaching it and stop
worrying about the camera so much don’t be lazy
whatever advertisers say instant results have no lasting gratification if you do
put your images into some piece of software that takes a really badly shot
in bad light image and it turns it into something amazing okay you’ve got very
short-lived gratification you might be able to say this is my photo but in your
heart inside you know that’s not your photo that’s a picture that was average
– okay and you’ve got a piece of software somewhere to turn it into
something it’s not your work that’s not true gratification is it so be careful
of instant gratification and don’t be afraid to put in the work because here’s
the thing instant gratification it just blows away like a fart in the wind trust
me I’m sorry guys you are responsible so you are the ones who have to take action
and choose what it is that you want to do what it is that you want to achieve
and very importantly choose something where you’re going to enjoy the journey
now I’m not saying there won’t be setbacks along the way I’m not saying
that everything is going to be hunky-dory and perfect they will be
setbacks there will be problems there will be issues but you know what is
those problems and issues and setbacks the you overcome by doing whatever it
takes by reading books by looking at magazines by watching YouTube videos by
buying a workshop buying a course they’re all overcome a ball it’s just up
to you to take responsibility to do it and by doing it that is what’s going to
give you the fulfillment that is what’s going to have you be able to lean in the
door of your office and look at the screen
saver r on your computer and just take a moment and go wow what a journey I’ve
been on

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