This is the third of a four-part series of blog posts on Storytelling in Photography. Ira Glass of “This American Life” is a man of insight and created a series of 4 videos for “aspiring” Journalist and Broadcasters, But I’ve been very inspired with what he had to say as I applied his theories to my own genre, photography.  Here are my thoughts on his video. Part 3 here:.

The third video is about good taste and how when we first get started in “photography” we have “good taste” and we know what we like and what looks good to us. The problem comes when we don’t have the skills to match up what we know in our minds is good, and what we actually produce. Many times the reason why we first get started in photography is because we have some sort of vision of what type of work we would like to make. We may see how powerful images can be and we want to speak to people visually. Ira makes the point that it’s normal to have good taste and not have your production match up with our minds eye. The real issue is that many people stop there. They get frustrated that they aren’t producing the type of images that they want to and they give up. He makes the point and I agree with him, that it’s normal for this process to take many years. It’s normal that we aren’t happy with the images that we’re making. I’ve always thought of photography and art as a lifestyle. For the truly committed it’s something that we live, is not something that we participate in. It takes many many years to get to a point where you think you know a little something, and many more years to realize that you don’t know anything. Both Ira and I say don’t be discouraged. Be persistent! Be brave! Press forward! Keep working!

Many times when I’m in the mood of giving myself a good mental lashing, the last thing I feel like doing is work! I feel like stuffing my head into a two-pound bag of Doritoz, like the ones you get at Costco and disappearing for a while! Honestly, sometimes this actually happens, but I’ve learned to force myself to do work. Make images! Produce! Ira stresses this point also. You need to keep producing! You even find someone to help you keep to a deadline. When someone is expecting work from you and holding you accountable, you may have more motivation to not only do the work for yourself but for the other person too. My friends and I use each other as accountability partners. We help each other come up with small project ideas and hold each other too it. You should try this for yourself and see how far you can grow. Maybe it’s like marathon runners that hit the wall, if they are able to push though and keep on running they describe a feeling of a “runner’s high”. I don’t know if it’s exactly like that feeling, but when I’m able to push though my own personal metal blockages, I feel “High”… or at least a sense of accomplishment. I was able to push through my own blockages and move forward. You will have good days and bad days, but my goal always, is to be moving forward.

Are you moving forward?