How to Be a Happier Photographer

Whether hobbyists or professionals, we all became photographers because we enjoy the process of creating images and sharing them with the world. But often, somewhere along the way, things go awry, and we end up unsatisfied and/or unhappy with the pursuit, sometimes turning our back on it altogether. If you find yourself in that place, this awesome video essay discusses how to make yourself a happier photographer. 

Coming to you from Justin Mott, this excellent video essay discusses how to become a happier photographer. Though it really is a personal thing that varies from person to person, by far, the best thing I ever did was stepping back from social media a bit. No doubt, platforms like Instagram are often a legitimate business tool for photographers that may require your time and attention, but they can also be very toxic places, where you deal with trolls, constantly chase trends that undermine your original creative impulses, and become beholden to ultimately meaningless things such as like counts. Make sure that at the end of the day, you are creating for you (particularly if you are a hobbyist and not creating work for paying customers). Check out the video above for the full rundown from Mott.

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8 Comments
Deleted Account's picture

Good video, with a lot to unpack, and you could really drill down on the 'why is it this way?'

Boiled down to a practical level, Mr Mott is right, be nice to people, without expectation of some sort of return or reward, and people will be nice in return, which will then improve your worldview, and it becomes a feedback loop.

Certainly, it's advice I need to take on board. I have spent a long time on the internet being combative, and that is a difficult habit to break. It's perfectly OK to let stuff slide; not everything requires a response. But damn, it's difficult sometimes, e.g. when someone straight up tells you you're an idiot because you don't see the world in the same way as them, or when they set out to wound, because what you said upset them.

Even if you win, you lose.

Certainly, there's much to be said for starving trolls of oxygen (I mean "troll", as opposed to someone whose opinion you dislike).

To your point, Alex, sometimes it is OK to walk away if something is not making you happy (I prefer the term *improving well-being*); that's the whole point of this photography thing, right?

Stuart C's picture

Don’t read forums.

Michael Steinbach's picture

Or Fstoppers.

Stuart C's picture

Yet you're here doing exactly that.

Rich Umfleet's picture

I know how to be happier, have all the equipment I dream of and a nice SUV setup to carry it all!

Tom Reichner's picture

Happiness? That would ruin my whole m.o.

Rich Umfleet's picture

You're too jaded for this comment section.

Catherine Bowlene's picture

Good points and I think it's important to understand what does not make you happy to either avoid it or work on it. I.e. I hate the competitive spirit of some local camera clubs which I originally joined to meet new people and polish some composition and photoworks skills but I felt much happier since I resigned. I never wanted to compete but many people there seemed to be pursuing exactly this. If it makes them happier then good for them though.