On Goals and Motivation in Photography

Photography, especially some of the more niche genres, can be an exceedingly hard thing to stay motivated in. Hear from a large format landscape photographer on how he stays motivated in a tough-to-make-it world.

Ben Horne is one of my favorite YouTubers. His no-nonsense and unglamorous approach to documenting the work that goes into his images gives a very real look at the effort, trials, tribulations, and triumphs of a professional photographer, and it showcases his passion by virtue of his commitment to endure the former three to reach the triumphs. And really, that's what the video above boils down to (though it's worth a watch for its other great points): passion is a necessary (though not sufficient) requirement for success in this world. I think he hit the nail on the head. Being a professional artist is an incessantly trying occupation from finances to validation — so much so that it seems a ludicrous thing to undertake in a fulltime capacity for all but the most devoted. And of course, that passion has to come from within, not from the validation garnered from others. After all, it's an expression of the self, and you have to be the one who approves of such things. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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"... passion has to come from within, not from the validation garnered from others": ner truer words have been spoken.