My name is Rob, and I am mute. When it's winter, when things are slow, I watch a lot of YouTube. I watch videos of equipment reviews, and lighting techniques, and what people are doing in the world of photography.
I watch these things when I cannot find the motivation to brave the cold, dreary, outside world to create something I call my own.
One video recently gave me pause, and I've been thinking about its implications ever since.
It's a talk by Zack about being honest - a trait I like to think I have.
In this video, I find that Zack and I have a few things in common.
He started out working for the same company I do shooting apartment complexes.
He talks about being down to earth, and not puffing yourself up to impress whoever you happen meet - a characteristic I've been told I exhibit.
He talks about getting into a funk in the winter - something I experience mildly with Seasonal Affective Disorder
He goes on to talk about a guest blog post he did for Scott Kelby, and it left me floored.
Here's a short transcript from the beginning:
Who am I as a photographer?
What is my voice?
I don't even really know what that means, but it keeps me up at night.
What is my vision?
What is my goal?
What do I bring to the table that countless others have not already served up[...]?
I've considered these questions. I've examined them at length over the last several days. I keep coming back to the same answer.
I don't have a fucking clue. Not one.
I have no voice as a photographer. I'm a baby in the photographic world, having not yet learned how to speak.
I'm nobody in the photographic world.
I've yet to find my style, my signature, my voice, my thing that separates me from the crowd.
I don't know where I'm going as a photographer, and I don't know how I'm going to get there.
All I know is that I must, and that I'm on my way.
It's a struggle, and it's going to be for some time to come, and that's okay.
It's okay because I pay rent with my camera.
It's okay because I get to eat breakfast with my girlfriend on the back porch at 10:00 am on a Monday.
It's okay because I love what I do, and I'm passionate about it.
I'm content with my life, but I'm not satisfied.
What am I to do about this?
Keep going. Keep pushing. Keep struggling. Keep pressing the shutter release. Keep creating. Keep making noises until they form words, and use those words to make my voice loud and clear.
That is precisely what I'm going to do.
Spring has sprung. There's new life, new opportunities, new inspiration.
It's time for me to get off my ass and keep on keepin' on!