The 3 Ingredients to Photography Success
Part 3: The egg...
"It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography, everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary."
- David Bailey
The humble egg. What CAN'T you do with an egg? You eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, they are good boiled, poached, fried - and so many of the sweet treats we make would be nothing but a blob of goop if it wasn't for the egg...
The same thing can be said for the 3rd ingredient you need to attain photography success. And that ingredient is this: community.
The road to photography success is paved with the hopes and dreams of many failed photographers, and the one way to rise above it all is with the right community behind you. How much easier would it be if you had a group of cheerleaders every time you picked up your camera. In fact, you could argue that the world of photography is a brutal, opinionated, and sometimes nasty one, and without a fantastic community helping to hold you together, your confidence would be as goopy as a cake baked without an egg.
You are a delicious double chocolate brownie in the making, and while all of our previous ingredients are essential to your success, you would have a much harder time being delicious without the help of an incredible community of supportive people who are there to lift you up.
So now that we realize the importance of this photography baking ingredient, let's dive in and have a closer look at community:
PART 3: COMMUNITY (the egg)
There are communities all around us. Hundreds of thousands of them. So being able to identify which communities are helping you and which ones are hurting you, is incredibly important. Let's dive in:
The first indicator of a good community is how they make you feel. Are you excited to "see" these people (either in person or virtually)? Do you feel inspired to connect, comment, post? Do you like what the people are saying? Great communities are ones where you feel genuinely good about showing up - week in, week out. So take a temperature test: if you were to say the names of the photography communities you belong to right now, do they light you up inside?
Next up we need to make sure that the community is open. And we don't mean open to you joining, we mean open to hearing what you have to say. This is incredibly important, especially in the world of photography, because at the end of the day we all see things differently. A photography community should be open to seeing your photos, to READING what you have to say, and to listening to what is important to YOU. If you're there to celebrate a win, you want your community to celebrate with you (not provide you with unwanted critique). If you're there looking for feedback, you want the community to give it to you in a way that is constructive, and doesn't tear you to shreds. THESE are the things that truly matter when it comes to discovering a community that lifts you up.
Finally, a good community should provide you with the pathway for growth. This matters because you don't want to end up somewhere where you're feeling like you're languishing. Taking the same quality photos over and over again for years on end will absolutely end up draining your love and spirit and passion for this beautiful craft of ours. Finding a community with the structure to help you grow will help you feel accomplished in ways you can't possibly yet imagine.
Ok team, so now we know what a HELPING community looks like, it's time to dive into what a HURTING community looks like.
First off, is how they make you feel (sound familiar?). Are you feeling intimidated to share / comment / post? Do you get a sinking feeling when you see a notification come up about a comment on one of your posts ("ooooh no, what is it this time")? Are you finding yourself engaging less and less as time goes on? These are signs that the community is a breeding ground for judgement and negativity.
Next up: is the community closed? Are new ideas shot down immediately? Are your images judged without consent or request? Are you afraid to post because you're worried about the outcome? There is a space for critique, but let's be honest, if you're not asking for it, why should you be given it? Some of you know my coffee-drinking addiction (hopeless I know), but this quote (not mine) sums up perfectly why, if you don't ask for it, critique is incredibly unwelcome.
Finally, is the community a place for growth? Or a place where if you're on top, you're on top, and if you're not, you're not... If the community is full of individuals who put themselves up, and don't hesitate to put others (especially newbies) down, then you're right in the middle of a bad one.
I'm thinking you've got the picture...
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
So now you have a pretty good understanding of the communities that are there to HELP you, and those that are there to HURT you, what are you going to do about it?
Remember when I asked you to think of all of the photography communities you are a part of, and think of how they make you feel? Maybe you feel they're all amazing, maybe there are a couple of duds, and maybe you get a sinking feeling with all of them.
Whatever the outcome, there only TWO things to do next:
1. LEAVE THE ONES THAT DON'T WORK
JUST LEAVE. RIGHT NOW. You don't owe that group anything - if it's terrible, it's terrible. It's not worth investing your time into a community that will suck the passion and joy out of the thing you love.
2. SEARCH FOR ONES THAT DO WORK
And keep searching until you find them. It's important. It matters. YOU matter. You deserve the best.
Join a really great one. It's called the Learn Photography Community, and you're going to love it.
ARE YOU READY TO GROW?
Let me introduce you to a truly incredible community. It's the community you become part of when you join our Photography In Focus Course. Our Graduates RAVE about this part (seriously, read their stories here!) - they love the connection - they love the lasting friendships they create with people all across the world - they love the support and encouragement. For them, the community is one of the MAIN reasons they actually REACH THEIR GOALS. Without the love they feel, the confidence they gain, and the amazing friendships they create, they would have quit the process (again).
We are truly so much stronger together.
This is also one of the MAIN pieces that sets Learn Photography Company apart from the rest. Creating communities full of love and devoid of judgement is one of the things we do best. Photography is for EVERYONE - including you.
So again I ask, what are you waiting for? You really enjoy photography - so sign up now!
REGISTRATION IS ONLY OPEN FOR A LIMITED TIME. And there won't be another Photography In Focus course for months.
I'll see you there right?