The other day my husband came to me, despondent about his photography. “I don’t know what I can shoot that hasn’t already been done by someone else.”
Over the past couple of years, Dan has become a pretty decent nature photographer. He’s developed his eye, learned about S-curves and the two-thirds rule, and considers background and foreground more. When he first started, I would tinker with the contrast and saturation and shadows, but now all I have to do is maybe crop them a little. Sometimes not even that.
I liked them so much that I made them into a slide show for my screen saver. He was surprised and touched.
Then I decided to share them with friends and family. I had 15 calendars manufactured featuring the photos and sent them out as holiday gifts. They were a hit. A stranger saw one at the packing/shipping store and asked if he could buy one.
Then Dan started angsting about having no worlds left to conquer and I had to give him a pep talk. It’s the same with writers, I told him. There are only six plots in the world (around that number, anyway) and literature continues to happen. I told him that yes, every flower has been photographed by someone, but not by him, with his own unique sensibility.
And I suggested that if he was tired of doing flowers, he could start capturing other things that interest him, like textures and patterns. I showed him a few examples of similar photos that a friend had taken and reminded him that an artist friend liked to experiment with patterns of light and shadow.
(I did all this instead of snapping at him that if he really wanted something to worry about, he should look at our bank balance.)
and even this.
I think there are many more worlds for him to explore and conquer. If he can get past the Photo Performance Anxiety.