I have always been inspired by and amazed by greatness.  The difference between the vast majority of people who are content to be just “good enough” and the few that take their natural, God-given talents to a point of greatness.  It is almost magical when you see greatness.  I am not a sports fan, but I when watched Michael Jordan play basketball, it was poetry in motion!  When I have seen JFK, Martin Luther King and Pastor Steve (one of the greatest ministers I have ever heard speak in person) speak, the heroes of 9-11, the soldiers who have gone far beyond bravery,  the leaders in business and parents who invest their time and love to raise outstanding children that will take our world to better places, they all these people inspire me with their greatness.  All of them have followed their God-given talents and with a great deal of work and determination have created something that is magical.

In our profession, greatness is word that way too many people use, but we have experienced true greatness in many of those who we have learned from: the passion of Don Blair, the precision of Dean Collins, the continuing creativity of Larry Peters and so many other who have taken their talents far beyond what the average photographers even tries to achieve.  Greatness didn’t come to these photographers easily.  They didn’t expect to buy a camera one week and get paid for their images 4 weeks later.  Greatness came to them, as it does to everyone,  by working on developing their natural talents, not just be one of the average, but to strive to go beyond their own limits and those this profession currently has.

I see so much passion in so many younger photographers.  The bright-eyed look of amazement in the creation of something that can be so beautiful and have such significance in the lives of those we create our images for.  But greatness, not even goodness is created quickly.  So many people today want to go from new camera owner to charging clients in such a short amount of time,  they do not allow themselves an opportunity to become great, or for that matter even good.  You can’t be inspired by your photography when clients are calling your photos crap, because you are trying to sell snapshots as professional photography.  Greatness is far from the photographer’s mind that spends hours in the creation of an image and then sell it for three times what Costco Charges to print it.  They say it isn’t where you start off that matters, but where you end up.  While I believe in this completely, I do believe it’s HOW you start off that determines where you end up.  You can’t start off with the idea in mind of making a quick buck and taking people’s hard-earned money for a product that is substandard and expect to achieve greatness in this profession (even making a decent living).  Greatness is achieved in a profession when an individual strives to not just be good, but be the best and has a love for what they do and the profession to which they belong.


~ by jeffsmithbooks on February 15, 2011.

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