• Random thoughts – Passion

While in Charleston I ran across long time friend, William Manning, who has become a very busy and well known architectural photographer. We agreed to meet at a local Thai restaurant for a late lunch before he and son, Matthew, drove home. Bill and I met at the Cincinnati Nature Center as we were both starting in the business. It’s nice to have friends from the beginning, as it reminds us of where we came from.

We talked for a couple of hours about old times, new times, and the current state of various aspects of the photography business, and of course, and most importantly, our families. We have seen a lot of things come and go over the last 20 years. 

We’ve both gone from making thousands monthly in stock photography, to not viewing stock photography as a viable source of income. Bill was a far more successful stock shooter than I, so it hit him harder. We discussed the ever more crowded workshop scene, and the future of same, etc., etc., etc.

However, the crux of our conversation became the importance of passion in our work and in our business.

Given that we all have to make a living and we all have to do things we aren’t crazy about from time to time, we agreed on one universal truth: If we are not passionate about a particular aspect of the business and our competitor is, we will lose out every time.

One great thing about getting a bit older is that we get a bit close minded, not because we are close minded people, but because we have tried many different things and know pretty quickly if something is right for us or not.

For Bill, after nature photography, stock photography, video, and droning, he found architectural photography, which falls in line with how he is wired, to be his passion. It is creative, precise, intense, and he can support his family.

For me, after trying nearly everything in this business: photo journalism, studio portraits, nature, stock, a short stab at video and droning, I discovered that what constantly gets my juices flowing is infrared, B&W, and creative software interpretations, and teaching. Of course, color nature photography is a constant source of inspiration and joy.

My father told me to learn everything I could about photography and my passion would find me. It did. 

“If you can’t feel what you’re shooting, no one else will either.”