Like it or not, if you want to be a good photographer, sometimes you have to climb out on a limb. It is all about growth. When we are kids, we are constantly pushed to learn more, do more, grow more. As adults, however, we don’t have anyone pushing us. Some people continue to push themselves, but many just coast the rest of the way. The growth is what will make you a better photographer.
Over the years, I’ve made an effort to constantly try new things. I’ll be honest, it hasn’t always worked out great. When I spent a semester in a college drawing class, it was absolute torture. Didn’t like drawing before the class - don’t like drawing now. However, did I emerge from that class a different person - and possibly a better overall artist - probably so.
I’m also a sucker for challenges. A couple of months ago, I started trying to improve my blogging skills. I visited a bunch of different blogging sites and read all I could find. I eventually stumbled onto a blogging contest and decided to enter. Didn’t really think I would be chosen... just thought it would be fun to enter. I make weird decisions like that all the time - if I ever figure out why, I’ll let you know! Anyways, I ended up being chosen and was placed on a team with 4 strangers - competing against a team of 5 other strangers. It was a very odd arrangement, but we actually got along very well and created a very cool blog - TheNextGoal. I’m in the final 5 - so keep your fingers crossed.
Sometimes you have to specifically set a goal for growth. I had never had the opportunity to photograph winter landscapes. I live in Texas and we just don’t get a whole ton of snow. A couple of years ago, I decided to plan a trip to Utah to photograph snow scenes. I found a good location, chose the perfect weekend and read up on the topic. I was ready to roll!
I’ll never forget when we had landed and were driving away from the airport. There was not a drop of snow in site. When we reached our bed and breakfast - about an hour north of town - we were told that a freak heat wave came through a couple of days before and melted all the snow. We spent the next couple of days driving around the countryside looking for something - anything- to photograph. Nothing.
We eventually gave up and decided to just sleep in and relax the last day before heading home. The next morning, I looked out the window and there was six inches of snow- it was surreal! We only had four or five hours before we had to be at the airport so we scrambled around shooting non-stop all morning. I came away with several good images, including a PPA Loan Collection image.
So what are YOUR photography goals? Try a new style of photography? Enter print competition for the first time? It doesn’t matter what you set for a goal. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter if you reach the goal. As long as you are heading in the right direction, you will continue to grow.
About Larry Lourcey
Plano portrait artist, Larry Lourcey, holds the designation of Master Photographer awarded by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in 2007. Several of Larry’s images have been selected for the prestigious PPA Loan Collection, including an image displayed at Imaging Asia in 2005. While Lourcey is most recognized for his black and white photography, the breadth of his work includes vibrant photo paintings, Polaroid transfers, and photographic collages. He derives his inspiration from master painters like John Singer Sargent and Edgar Degas, while embracing the bold styles of more modern greats; such as Pino Daeni.
In his free time, Larry enjoys trying to find free time. Follow him on Twitter as @larryphoto or check out his work at Lourcey Photography Blog or TheNextGoal