What’s stopping you? We all have at least one imperfection that we wish wasn't part of us so that it would be easier to achieve our dreams. I often wonder what my photography and life would be like if my extreme anxiety disappeared, if I had more money, physical strength, and even if I were a man instead of a woman. Our flaws that hinder us are often hard to deal with, but once we embrace them for what they are the outcomes can be surprisingly perfect.
Achmad Zulkarnain, or as his friends call him, Dzoel, is a 24-year-old Indonesian photographer, retoucher, and educator. A few years ago while working at an Internet cafe, an interest was sparked in him to take photos. He purchased a camera with credit and began to relentlessly teach himself until people knew him as a photographer. While admiring his otherworldly images, you would never guess that Dzoel was born without hands and feet. He has come so far in spite of his deformities by erasing the thought in his mind that he is disabled, he gives us all the same advice to overcome whatever is stopping us.
Dzoel cringes and chuckles as he picks up his heavy 5D, but once his camera is in position between his arms he uses it pretty effortlessly. He never uses a tripod to assist him and he even edits his own images. Dzoel uses his mouth to turn his camera on, the extra skin on his hand to push the shutter. No one expected him to go this far, but he is now running a successful business as well as teaching photography to others.
While looking through Dzoel's dreamy images I found that one of his strongest areas was posing his subjects, especially their hands. I found this incredible since he has never had fingers of his own to practice with.
When you find yourself looking down on your flaws, come back to this story, as a reminder that anything is attainable through hard work and determination. Whether your hindrances are mental, financial or physical like Dzoels, try to erase the thoughts of these so you're able to push as far as you can beyond them.
Images used with permission.