From Beginner to Pro — What Makes Creative Work, Like Photography, Special?

Nothing comes from nothing. Think an author just sits down and writes bestsellers? Think great photographers just happen to be at the right place at the right time with the right camera and lens in hand? Yes, producing creative work is a demanding process closely related to one’s creative eye and mind, but even more important are practice, experience and lots of trial and error. Now here is something to lift your spirits as a photographer if you’re trying to achieve the next level:

Meet Ira Glass, an American radio personality who spoke extensively about the art of storytelling. As photography is storytelling, let’s borrow some pages from Glass’ book to find out what it takes to become a better storyteller a.k.a. photographer.

Everyone starts out as a beginner. Even Mozart. Everyone at one moment in time questions whether he or she is the only one who’s constantly disappointed about the gap between one’s taste and one’s skills. “Everybody goes through that,” says Glass. “It’s totally normal.”

Luck? Work hard, work hard, work hard. Do a huge volume of work. It’ll take a while, says Glass, to make the work as good as your ambitions. Just bite your way through that.

Some are more gifted, some less. There’s no shortcut. It’s only by lots and lots of photographing that the photographer is going to catch up and close the gap between ambition, taste and that special thing.

The simplicity and straightforwardness of Glass’ message inspires many people, among them Daniel Frohlocke who produced a video interpretation of Glass’ message — based on an audio edit by David Shiyang Liu who himself created an earlier video.

If this doesn’t inspire you I don’t know what does.