Shall I QUIT Photography and be a fruit seller? (A Photographer's Self Talk)
Since my recent accident happened to me in Brussels on 08th of August (Read the whole story in details here) which costed me to lose ALL my photography work/portfolio since I started photography. After the accident, during the rest of this solo trip, my close friends who called me to check on have utterly noticed in my voice on phone how miserable I was, unfocused, lost and confused. And they were highly recommend to cut off the trip and get back home in Bratislava. But I decided to continue to Bruges on 10th of August, and in train I was seriously thinking about selling all my cameras and lenses and QUIT the only thing I might be good at; “photography”
I was feeling that its not really worth to to take all of these photos again and in case I decided to start again, didn’t know how and from where should I start and how to get myself on the track back again. I tried to find a way back home to Bratislava but it was so expensive to get a direct train or flight from Bruges to Bratislava, so I decided to to find a way to get to Germany through Netherlands where I can take a direct EasyJet or Ryanair flight back home for less cost. While waiting in the station for the nearest bus/train heading to Amsterdam, there was an old man sitting near by, he was around 60 years old, he found saw me sitting on the floor crying on my effort and years of hard work, he just came closer and started to talk with me, in the beginning he tried to calm me down and breaking ice, I saw the curiosity in eyes that he wanted to know what happened to me and why I am in this condition? I started to talk and tell him about my story, and his answer was truly shocking for me, it seemed to be a wake up call to me at this time, he smiled and came closer to me said; “Listen young man, I totally understand how it feels when you lose everything in one shot, maybe your money, your work, your memories and everything is just gone, but except 2 things you should realize that you didn't lose and still keeping and no one on earth could ever take these 2 things from you; first one is your skill/talent for which you gifted with and the second thing, the things you experienced in your life” - such as the learnings you have learned, the places you have roamed, the projects you have worked on etc. all of these experiences are what made you reached what you have reached ... what made you reach who you are today are not these materialistic things you're crying on right now, but your skill and your life experience, and now its completely in your hand to either carry on or to give up your dreams and on your talent and be a QUITTER." - Said the old man.
What this man just said, was like an enlightenment for me, it was a guidance which made me really think differently about this stumble, his words stuck in my mind and I was thinking about what he said every day during the rest of my trip, from Bruges to Amsterdam and from Amsterdam to Hamburg and then Berlin, his speech really made me think about my life differently, and it boosted a great motivation and enthusiasm to keep on what I started and don't give up on my dreams and goals no matter any hurdles or stumbles I met in my life.
"At first, traveling alone leaves you speechless and then turns to a story."
Two month later, here I am! Starting again from the scratch with these limited number of photographs which I was able to capture starting from Bruges, all the way to my last destination of my 13 cities I visited during this solo trip.. insisting to start all over again from zero, building a new portfolio from the scratch, all for the love of photography as an art and with the motivation and the support I’m getting from my close friends, family and my limited number of readers and followers, I was able to get this urge and the creativity mood which pushing me so much to exploit my photography modest skills and experiences I gained within the last 10 years and do my best to build a new solid portfolio, stronger than the one I lost, applying some new perspectives, coloring and post production (photo editing) techniques which I hope that it will took my upcoming work to a different level.
Why I’m writing/sharing this now?
I am actually considering what I wrote above is a self-talk or a wake up call to my self in order to encourage and motivate me with sharing my inner voice with all of you, and also to promise myself and my tiny small number of followers which I highly appreciate them that I MUST and I WILL get myself back on the track again and complete my mission and achieve my vision for which I have started and planned it for my photographic career journey.
Otherwise, I also wrote this seeking from all of you your support in the upcoming period, by sharing and spreading my work (only if you like it) and to be engaged with my content as much as you can through the social media networks I’m sharing my work at; Facebook and Instagram and this personal blog you are reading on now, this will really help me A LOT to keep this enthusiasm and motivation which I highly need at this time to be able to hold my camera and create something decent could make me stand out in this massive digital crowd we are living in nowadays, create something meaningful which truly meet your expectations and inspire you and finally remain as a memorable artistic suit could be inherited to my kids and grand kids in the future.
What's next? (View About My Upcoming Plans)
Currently what's on my list is to expand in 2 directions, the first direction is on the physical/local market in Bratislava, the aim to strive is to onboard and attract new clients in different fields, requiring different/additonal service to be able stabilise my current income state (since I quit my 9-5 job since June) and the main purpose of expansion is that I need to invest more in camera gear such as buying new lenses, lighting equipments etc. which will definitely reflect on the quality or my work.
After a deep business thinking I found that the best way at this time to proceed with Physical Expansion and onboard new clients is by adding new service to my firm and hence targeting a wider base of clients.
Adding new services such as;
1. Pre-Wedding Photography
2. Videography and Montage
3. Motion Graphics (partnership with a friend)
4. Post Production Courses (PS and Lightroom)
And what about the second direction?
The second direction is striving towards the social media exposure, such as instagram, youtube. I know its not became easy at all and nowadays its super challenging and needs a hard work to hit a 1M subscriber on Youtube. You need hundreds of materials, topics, brilliant ideas to start up a dope youtube channel and a plenty of TIME to build a reliable audience base, however no matter how hard it is, its really worth trying, since the social media became nowadays one of my most powerful tools to expose your art work, likewise on the long run it could be a way to generate a partial income besides stock photography to at least cover your firm expenses via YouTube monetizing.
Sorry if it was quite long, but thank you for reading.
With Love and respect,