The past few weeks I have been reaching out to some companies via social media, asking them about taking pictures for them. Product photos. Branding. Partnering with them to promote their brand and my work.
This afternoon I received a reply from a company (name intentionally removed), stating: "Hi Ben, your work is pretty good, you're doing ok. I would recommend to keep exploring your own style. Keep building your followers, at this point your following and photography is not strong enough to justify a partnership or brand ambassadorship. Best of luck and thanks for reaching out" - (*company*)
At first, there was an angry pit in my stomach. I didn't react right away. I sat there, read it again, and then closed the message. "How dare they?!" was my first thought. But then, all of the sudden I thought, "Wow. They are so right!"
Here's the deal: I NEVER want to get to the point where people assume I have nothing left to learn. I am going to keep getting better. I don't ever want to settle for being average, or plateau once reaching a certain, attainable level.
So, I 100% agree with this company's assessment of my skills. I am not where I want to be as a photographer. The photos I have taken this year, far exceed the photos I took this time last year. And hopefully, the photos I take next year will be better than the photos I am taking currently. With motivation like "You're not good enough"...they sure will be.
I am constantly being influenced. Motivated. Inspired. Tested. Outdone. Encouraged.
I am excited to see what I can achieve. Everyone starts somewhere. All of my favorite photographers and creative influences started where I am. At the bottom of the metaphorical totem pole, as most people's last choice.
I am striving. I am learning. I am setting my sights high and planning on reaching the goals I have set for myself.
I will ALWAYS be learning.
Here are some people that have been inspiring me lately and motivating me to succeed:
@joelbear : http://www.joelbear.com/
@jordanherschel : jordanherschel.tumblr.com
@scottbakken : www.socality.org
@jonathaneshields : jonshi.vsco.co
Those are Instagram handles and related websites/tumblr accounts/organizations sites/vsco grids
Thanks for reading! Let's connect! Send a comment my way!