Ted Forbes has done it again. He has a way of stating the obvious in a way that elevates the thought from pedestrian to poignant. Here, he attempts to answer a fan letter about the most important lesson he's learned in photography.When a 14-year-old reader composed a hand-written note to Forbes, he felt compelled to answer, not only because of the age of the writer, but also because the content and method of asking the question. Hand-written letters are few and far between these days, but the simplicity and directness of the question from a child demanded a response. I'll let you watch the video to get the details of his answer, but it comes down to this: Always remember why you started in photography, and keep it fun.
The advice particularly resonates with me in my journey back into the film world. Of course, making a buck and putting food on the table for yourself and your family is of incredible importance, but there needs to be a balance with feeding your passion. For me, that came in the form of film. I started on film, loved it, but quickly moved to digital when it became viable. Throughout the years I've always come back to film, but never as a primary shooting method.
That changed about six months ago. I started shooting and developing my own film, choosing to work in medium and large format almost exclusively for my personal work. And I need to tell you, my work has never been stronger. I feel like I'm making images that I can be proud of again, and I firmly believe that coming back to the original reasons I started shooting has a lot to do with that.
Definitely take a look at the video and let it roll around in your head. Have you let go of the fun and passion to make a living? If so, what steps can you take to make those original reasons a part of your life again?