Over the last few months I’ve taken a pretty big step back from what I was doing with my photography. This meant not much blogging, no YouTube videos, no marketing and not enough actual shooting. From January 2011 to September 2012 I have pretty much spent all of my free time concentrating on photography, and I finally just felt as if I had hit a wall.
This wall wasn’t a hard stop, where everything became impossible. No, it was more like working everyday, through thick goopy sludge.
Things were still happening, I was still taking action and making progress, but things were taking longer to-do and just weren’t as fun or interesting as they used to be. I lost my focus and I lost my real passion for photography and setting up my business. I probably could have just pushed through it, in the hope that things should have gotten better, and that’s probably what logic would suggest you do. Don’t people say you should never give up on your dreams?
But sometimes you just need to take need a break. Sometimes giving up and stepping away is the absolute best way to find a new perspective on things and to get even better results going forward.
And my 3 month hiatus has been exactly what I needed. I now feel energised and inspired like I did at the very beginning of my journey.
It feels like this is the beginning of the next chapter of Scuffins Photography. I’m fully confident that 2013 will be the best year ever. I have some big things to look forward to, and I have more energy and drive than I’ve ever had before. My goals and aims for 2013 are pretty darn ambitious, but I feel that this is the year to do it in.…
Happy New Year!
Regular readers to my blog may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet in the last few months, so sorry for that. I have been regularly updating this blog for the last two years without stop, so I kinda figured I deserved a little break during the winter. Am I forgiven?
Hopefully so, because I have a load of great stuff planned for 2013!
New Year is always a great time for someone who’s as analytical and inward thinking as me. I always spend way too much time thinking about the past year, what was awesome, what didn’t go so well, and what things I have to look forward to and which areas I need to make the biggest changes.
Setting good photography goals is easy, just remember to make them genuine, realistic and useful. Set yourself goals that matter. Not wishy washy ones that don’t challenge you, and not hugely ambitious ones you know you will give up on by Easter.
So this is what I’ve got, these are my “big five” goals for 2013.
More Personal Work
My absolute single biggest regret of 2012 was that I just didn’t shoot, share or invest in a lot of personal work. By that I mean, I just didn’t pay much attention to good times with family, day trips, memories, or even small or long term personal photography projects. All I shot last year was concentrated on weddings and stock photography. In 2013, I plan todo more wedding and portrait work, but balance this out with more personal photos that I can enjoy and experiment with.
More Sharing And Printing
Looking through all the photos I took last year, I probably only shared via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, maybe 1 photo for every 100 I shot. I put so much effort in with coming up with ideas, spending ages shooting and editing photos, to then just leave them on my computer where no one can see them.…
I’d like to think my blog is a bit more that just a place to boast, to promote and share all of the awesome super-positivity that people love to read. Sometimes I think you just have to be a little bit more grounded, a little bit more based in reality. After all, life isn’t all roses. Sometime you have good days, sometimes you have bad days. So this is a bad day post.
Things have seemed to have slowed down a lot in the last month or so, although honestly it feels like a lot, lot longer than that.
It feels like so long ago that I was running off of the creative and confidence high of shooting my very first wedding, soon followed by first time second shooting, but in reality this was all just this summer.
On the upside, I have a number of weddings booked in for 2013, which I am really, really looking forward to, but right now that also feels like absolutely years away.
So I now find myself in this period of nothingness. This horrible dark, bland filling, in a sandwich of awesome things. Sure I’m tinkering with gear a bit here and there, and taking a shot or two on the weekends when it isn’t raining, but for the most part nothing is going on, I’m not taking any pictures, and it’s making me unhappy.
Having this extra time on my hands has caused me to become a little more philosophical about photography and it’s effects on me and my personality in the last 12 months. (I have my obsessive over analytical personality to thank for that)
I’ve been thinking about what I would have been doing with my time if I hadn’t been doing photography, reading, practicing, learning, shooting etc. I only picked up my first SLR at the start of 2011, so I must have done other things, right?…
All of the knowledge, talent and skill in the world won’t get you anywhere unless you work hard. In fact no one ever got anywhere by sitting back and waiting for good things to happen.
I know this. I’ve even blogged about it in the past. Yet I have been completely unable to follow my own advice the last few weeks. So I’m writing this blog post as message to myself, and maybe it will help others in a similar situation.
I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve been waiting…for something. I’m not sure what. Perhaps making the decision to sell up my gear and switch brands put a halt on things. But that’s all done with now, and I’m still feeling the same, even with lots of new shiny camera stuff around.
All of my big plans, goals and my relentless work ethic have gone out the window, and I find myself often getting bored in these autumnal evenings, struggling to get motivated to knuckle down and actually do some work.
The frustrating thing is, I know I am letting myself down. I’m not achieving my full potential, and I’m not making the most out of the work and time I have already put in to get where I am now. The inspired, dedicated and passionate Chris from six months ago would be ashamed at the lazy Chris I am right now.
This must change; otherwise I’m going to get nowhere. And this is how:
Make Plans. Set Goals.
Take Action. Work Hard.
Don’t EVER Quit.
To make sure I follow this mantra to the letter, I made desktop wallpaper for my iMac and iPhone, so I don’t forget it.
If you need a bit of motivation, you can download the wallpaper here.…
Right now I’m in the middle of a whole fortnight without a camera, and it’s a very weird feeling. I don’t like it one bit. (More info as to why I haven’t got a camera will be on the blog soon) Not being able to do what I truly enjoy is a bit of a downer, and has made me realise just how big a part of my life photography is.
But I’m staying positive and considering the down time as an opportunity to look at other things, and take a breather from photography. I can tell that as soon as I get a camera back in my hand I’m going to be more inspired and motivated than ever. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Or something.
So, although I can’t take any images, I thought I would share some of my favourite inspirational and motivational quotes with you instead. I often incorporate some of these quotes into desktop wallpapers for my iMac and iPhone, so I can be reminded of them everyday. Staying motivated, positive and feeling creative has a big impact on my life in general, especially in the last few years where photography has become my main focus.
These quotes aren’t all specific to photography, but more about living a positive and creative life, and being the best you can be….
Do you have some favourite quotes? Sayings that speak to you and get you up in the morning and feeling positive and motivated? Why not leave a comment below so others can benefit from them too!
The word passion has become a real marketing buzzword, a way for companies to say “we actually enjoy selling stuff to you. How great are we?!”
What I find kind of upsetting is that the true meaning of the word has been lost. It has been devalued by over use, and I don’t think people always understand the meaning of true dedication and passion, and the difference it makes.
I’ve written this post, so that my readers and clients know what I mean when I say I am truly and totally passionate about photography.
Being wholly and truthfully passionate about something is one of the strongest, most positive emotions a person can have. Regardless of what it is that you are passionate about, whether it is music, football or photography, it is a really big deal.
When someone asks me a question about photography, I find it hard to stop talking. People who have met me will testify, that my eyes light up, I start grinning like an idiot and just keep talking and talking and talking.
Sometimes, when things go wrong, or I’m having a low period where nothing seems to work right, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. If anything, my passion makes me want to keep on going, twice as hard, twice as fast, and to be 10 times better than I was the time before.
It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, cold, in the pouring rain at 4am, I will be there with smile on my face and a camera in my hand, because photography is my passion, through and through.
And the most awesome thing is that by combining my passion with my business, provides me with a seemingly unlimited source of energy because doing what I love is never a chore, and never feels like hard work.…
Everything I know about photography I have learnt from the Internet for free. I have never had any formal training, I never studied it at school, or have a single qualification in anything even remotely artistic or useful.
My photography has got where it has by continuously finding, learning and practicing photography at every single opportunity I can.
My collective photography knowledge and experience; from Photoshop to posing, from light to lenses, has come entirely from other photographers and bloggers who were kind enough to share their own knowledge with the rest of the world. Those guys seriously rock.
When it comes to Photography, I think an inquisitive and hard working nature matters far more than innate artistic talent or fancy qualifications.
It’s this hard work and passion to learn that has allowed me go from buying my first DSLR to shooting my first wedding in less than 18 months.
If you have that passion to learn and to grow as a person, you’ll easily find the skills and knowledge you’ll need out there to be successful. And who doesn’t want to be as good as they possibly can be?
I really annoys me when people say “Oh, I wish I had the time to learn photography“. Or play the guitar. Or cross stitch. Or whatever. Time has got nothing to do with it, especially if you stop watching TV and spend that time googling your ass off to find out how to do what you want to do.
You should never have to say the words “I don’t know how?” more than once. All you have todo is find the answer, and practice the solution, so that next time you can say “Yes! I so got this!”
Mistakes are fine. In fact mistakes are a really really good thing!…
I spend a lot of my time engrossed in the online world of photography, design and social media. It comes with the territory of being an aspiring professional photographer. Sometimes it feels like I eat, drink and breath inspiration, ideas and advice.
But for every inspiring, informative and genuinely useful article I read, there is another article full of negativity and dissolution at the state of the creative industry.
From the smallest independent blogs, to the most established magazines and journals, you can’t go a day without reading something about the demise of professional photography, the curse of the Internet or the increasing accessibility of technology making the professional artist an endangered species.
Youtube is killing musicians. Instagram is killing photographers. Facebook and Pinterest are destroying the very idea of copyright and ownership. Cheap equipment now means anyone can do it, and they will do it, all for free.
If you believe all of this, then you might as well stop taking photos, stop making music. There is no point. Give up. The industry is dead and you are with it.
Technology is a gift. We are able to spread our work across the world, to thousands, perhaps millions of people in seconds. Free services like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are bringing photography to everyone like never before. Photography and music have never been more important to the average person, more integral to everyday life, because it has never been so accessible.
More people are capturing memories. More people are capturing the awesome photography bug. And that’s fantastic. I view that as being only a positive thing. The potential market for people selling and buying photography has never been broader.
Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean that everyone has the talent, the vision, the knowledge and sheer determination to actually be great at it.…
ABOUT THIS BLOG
This is the blog of Chris Scuffins, a hardworking, creative photographer from Gloucestershire.
With years of experience in landscape and commercial still life photography, his focus now lies on capturing creative, natural and beautiful fashion and lifestyle portraiture, as well as a fun, relaxed approach to photojournalistic wedding photography.
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