More On “Why Bother”

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

Expanding on Bill Fortney’s Post

Lots of positive feedback on my facebook page yesterday about Bill Fortney’s blog post yesterday called, “Why Bother”

In over  one thousand and two hundred blog posts I have made, this topic never crossed my mind, and I’m sure it is so common of a thought process among photographers that I wanted to share my thoughts as well on this subject.

It’s something that a lot of photographers think about from time to time.

Here is the opening lines of Bill Fortney’s blog post:

“I was having a very interesting conversation with a photographer several days ago and something he said has continued to ring in my ears. He said, ” I see so much good work, I just wonder why bother, I will never be that good!”

Bill had some great answer to why you should bother, and if you didn’t read the post yet go Here

I think most all photographers love to search out the photo sites online and view what people are producing in the world of photography.  There is a lot of just average images and there are a lot of amazing images.  We see so many pro quality images being produced by everyday amateur photographers.

If our images don’t stack up to what we see being posted online or at your local camera club, we tend to get down on ourselves.

I tell people all the time that when I started in photography I was self taught, so it took me a long time to develop. My website has over 700 images, none of which were from my first three years of shooting.

Thankfully I didn’t know about the internet in those first three years or maybe I would have had the same “why bother” attitude as the guy Bill was talking with.

I think Bill made some excellent points about the journey we take when we are out photographing.  I find that even if I don’t come home from a shoot with any keepers, the the experience I had just being out in nature was worth it.

When I started out it was all about just having an excuse to go to the local parks and spend time hiking in the woods and exploring with my camera.  It didn’t start out trying to create great artistic images, it was just documenting what I saw.

When I found the few online sources where photographers were posting their images, there was a lot less really great stuff being posted so you didn’t feel that your images were all that bad.  But it seems in the last few years with sites like 500px where you will see photos that will just blow you away, I can easily see how a new photographer would have that “why bother” attitude.

We can’t help but want to compare our images with other photographers images, so we can measure how we are doing.

But the benefit of having the internet is that we get to see the potential of photography, get ideas for subjects, composition, and lighting techniques, and that will help us grow as photographers.  Maybe if I had discovered the internet sooner, I would have progressed quicker then the three years it took me before I had images worthy of putting on my website.

We can say to people that you should just go out and have fun taking pictures and don’t worry about what anyone think of your images, and I think most people are having fun, but at the same time they what to create beautiful art that they can be proud of.

My favorite line from Bill’s post that we should all strive for;

I have only one photographic goal; “to be better tomorrow than I am today, and love every minute of the journey!”


Website and Workshops

  1. claude says:

    I sent the link to all 50 members of my photography club. I have tried to impress on the club membership most of the points Bill makes in his article. I agree, if photography isn’t fun – find something that is.

    Thanks for the post and the link.

  2. Mike Moats says:

    Hey Claude, good idea to send this to the club members.

  3. vickie liptak says:

    Mike, I really enjoyed the articles and want to say YOU have grown yourself since I discovered your posts a year or so ago! Not only have you widened your horizons you have caused all of us to take another look at ourselves and grow. thanks for the time you put into all of us paying or not paying students. You are a true Master Artist and I want to say “thanks” for all of the advice and ideas!! Keep on growing and posting so we can grow with you

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