Look Back, Move Forward

Here’s an image that I took long ago. I'd been exploring the swamps of Florida searching for wildlife; alligators, turtles, snakes, birds, spiders and so on (it's a paradise for anyone that loves wildlife and doesn't mind getting a little dirty!).  

I'd been pushing through the undergrowth for what seemed like ages, when this beautiful dragonfly settled on a branch directly ahead of me - I had time to take just one shot before it flew off over the water.

Over the years this image has stuck in my mind . . . perhaps because this was from one of my first solo photo-adventures or maybe just because of it’s simplicity; not planned or expected - it just happened. Though the image is not quite at the standard of my normal photography (and taken on a far inferior camera) I wanted to share it with you. It has sat beneath a backlog of 7 or 8 years and probably 10,000 images, and I felt it was time to share the shot.

This was the beginning of my photographic career, and shots like this – (perhaps only 1 in 100 of those I took at the time) encouraged me to pursue my goals as a photographer.

Sometimes you will suffer photographers-block, I suppose in much the way that writers suffer from writers-block. You’ll lose your motivation, lack inspiration, or even question your skill . . . but don’t give up! Every photographer feels that way at some point – but what differentiates between those that are photographers and those that will always just want to be photographers, is knowing how to overcome it.

Each person will have their own way; I overcome it by looking through portfolios of other photographers in books, online and in competitions . . . I try to find photography in a style different to my own and discover something new or look for images that captivate me so completely that I could stare at them for hours - that is how I rediscover my motivation.

Similarly you may find your inspiration looking over your own archive of images – compare some from years ago to those you’re taking now, and I’m sure that the improvement will be so apparent you cannot deny your own ability.

The important thing however you motivate yourself, is to not stop pursuing your goals as a photographer – always have something you are working towards, whether it’s getting your work published or winning a competition and once you’ve achieved it . . . set another goal.

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