These were the encouraging words from my photography mentor in late November of 2018. He had just wrapped up an hour’s worth of reviewing my top fifty or so images in his home. The question lingering in the air was “Are my photos professional and quality enough to start selling and entering art shows?” He isn’t the sort to pander or tickle my ears. I’ve received plenty of blunt assessments in the past to know he wouldn’t get my hopes up if he didn’t think I was ready.
After asking him multiple times if he was sure, diving into projections he best could offer through five years of experience, I left his home feeling both ecstatic and nervous.
I devoted 2018 to learning photography and shooting as much as I could. I haven’t yet totaled the state parks I visited but it’s around twenty. I definitely got around and photographed one to three times a week. In the back of my mind, I held onto the possibility of marketing and selling my work in early 2019, but I resisted doing anything besides having fun for a while. I didn’t want work and money to steal my joy for photography. But my mentor’s combined encouragement pushed me over the edge into the business side. It’s very early but I’ve found this new side of photography to be a challenge that is both exciting and one I can embrace. That’s also due to learning. I love gaining new skills and education.
My photography has a long way to go. But look how far it has come. This image below is what I was pleased with in December of 2017.
Compare that with this beauty:
And if you’ve been following my work on Facebook or Instagram then you’ve seen improvement.
Now it’s exciting news time:
Josh Driver Photography, LLC is my official new and first business name.
I listen to a podcast fairly regularly called Lenswork by Brooks Jensen and earlier this week, an episode really made me think more deeply about reacting to a scene versus over planning or overthinking the scene.
As a landscape photographer and bit of a perfectionist, I have more than several times, gotten to a scene and scurried around trying to find the “perfect” composition. Or the composition that would make the trip worth it. My problem isn’t over planning as much as rushing, urged on by high idealism.
A benefit to this has been grabbing several interesting compositions and exploring many areas of the landscape. However, I believe this approaches reduces and minimizes the experience and can even be stressful.
In 2019, I want to practice more reacting to landscapes that I visit. This means slowing down and not worrying about taking the camera out. It means walking the edge of a coastline for an hour. It means sitting on a rock or bench listening to sounds and watching wildlife. It means slowing my pace and my breathing and letting creative wonder come to me, instead of forcing my own twist into the composition.
There is nothing wrong with scouting, planning, and thinking through a scene to produce a quality and professional photo. I will continue to do this. But personally, I want to slow down more and allow creativity to come to me through a slower and deliberate approach.
I really appreciate what they’re doing over at Slow Photography Movement and recommend their site. It’s much of the same vein as this post.
I’ll leave an example to close today’s thought. Last autumn along the North Shore, I was scurrying around trying to capture this island off the coat. I wasn’t very satisfied with my initial images so I stopped and just looked. I didn’t try to see a composition. I scanned the entire coast, taking in my location. It was at that point where I discovered an obvious beauty: lush red fall leaves in bunches just as the rocks met the trees. And when I went over to them, I discovered my composition.
I’m Josh and this blog is about my photographic journey and creativity in the world, mostly in Minnesota. Since I live in the North Star State, I thought it applicable to name this blog after it since it is my creative space on the web. Here, you’ll find nooks, crannies, secret spots, and new treasures in the north star state. My blog will describe these locations, share my thoughts, and of course, post photos from each visit.
Brief About Me
I’m a born-and-raised Minnesotan who loves the North Shore and the southern bluffs. I’ve been shooting on average twice a week since October 2017, focusing on learning, learning, and learning in 2018. I typically capture landscapes, black and white, nature, and macro. Waterfalls are my favorite and I have been called the “Waterfall Guy” before, perhaps out of quantity. You decide about the quality!
When I’m not practicing composition, chasing waterfalls, and visiting state parks, I am grooving to new tunes, playing soccer, watching hockey, camping, and enjoying life with my wife.
I’m hoping to plan a photography trip to Scotland in October of 2019 so stay tuned for that!
Let’s get in touch!
I encourage you follow me on social media and feel free to drop a message! I’m most active on Instagram. Thanks for reading and have a great day!