How Photography Can Be a Positive Force in Your Life

There can be a lot of negativity in the photography community that can be discouraging or downright disheartening, and that is a shame, because every one of us first picked up a camera because it was something we enjoyed and something that invigorated our imagination. If you find yourself feeling a little let down by photography lately, check out this insightful video essay that discusses many of the positives of photography and how to go about finding them. 

Coming to you from Evan Ranft, this fantastic video essay discusses how to craft a positive experience for yourself as a photographer. I think one of the most important bits of advice Ranft shares is to not compare yourself to others, but rather to measure your progress by how far you have come from your past work. The joy comes in both being in the present along the journey and in your own growth along the way. And on that topic, remember that growth is rarely linear. You will have days in which everything goes fantastically and you feel like you are growing by leaps and bounds and days in which you feel uninspired and nothing is going right. The important takeaway is to continue persevering. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Ranft.

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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Someone who can afford this camera, should not need a "positive force in life".

I was going to say to be positive, get yourself a Leica Q. I’ll just remain miserable with my pretend Leica Q, my A7III and Voigtlander lens 😉😉.

Just start making best use of it.

First it is not about the camera! It is more about the eye and what is seen and the composition you see as well what and how it is saved. This video also is about how he makes a living that helps keep a family together that very few ever get that far up the chain.
I started in the 70's with a Canon Ftb while in the Navy and a retiring soon First Class put me on shore patrol with him my first day of in a foreign country, Naples, he showed me the gut and all drinking and the cat houses and the "Castle" all the while he had his old camera. The next day was half day of liberty but we took a MWR tour to Rome where we saw the sights with other photographers showing how to see things that others do not see even when looking at the same thing. The next thing he asked was did the tour open my eyes to what was out there vs just in one spot the gut. What was being asked is how I wanted to remember all the ports of call in my future. We went to the NATO base and looked at some cameras, no taxes or duty, where I bought my first camera and two lenses. Joined the photo club and learned about great places. The hard part waiting for prints so logs of shot had to be made but wait was a learning in progress sharing with others.
I carried and used that camera for 24 years having many memories that others only could remember drinking times. Now some 40 years later I can see the slides and prints all like a time machine.
Ten years ago I went Sony A7S after a Canon T2i was taken off its site. That was the real beginning of editing because C1 was only $30 and the many on camera apps to play with that spurred imagenation.
Also using my old FD and EF-S lenses with $20 adapters let me play and see after.
Finding the low light and the quiet night of milky way capture was the first eye opener of the unseen.
All the while never a seller or pro but having time captured slices of life and experimentation of light.
Today I fill a calendar of days and months with future captures knowing nature as it changes every moment and follow the weather and tides like a weatherman. As a hobbyist I see more than a single genre photographer for I have a trained eye with imagination that keeps my mind busier than any TV, a real waste of time. In the second image can you see the horse and it's rider at the entrance as well as the chief inside yelling - that is what I saw when I turned around to see where I had been on a night tour and I bet no one has seen in any of their photos day or night, nature makes things just have to look for them and capture.