For the Love of Photography

chasejarvis_davewithgullsSeems like the more I listen, the more I hear people talking about the gear, the business of photography, the widgets. Let us not forget the simple love of photography.

I understand why there’s so much rhetoric in our industry about the business of photography and the gear and the gadgets. There is the common stereotype that most creative people aren’t good business people. There is fear. Gear is easier to talk about than vision. Exposures are exact, the camera dials have numbers. There is a ‘right’ answer to many of these questions.

But where is your love of pictures? Where are your actions that back this up?

Can you pick up a book of photographs and get lost in it?
Can you walk around with your iPhone or Android or your point and shoot or whatever and take 100 pictures knowing that they’ll never be for a client or a portfolio?
Do you love hunting for pictures?
Will you stay up late or get up early for pictures?
Do you sometimes ‘see’ life as a photograph?

It’s different for all of us, but when you can take a break from all the chatter, remind yourself–as often as you can–why you love photography.

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126 Responses to For the Love of Photography

  1. Andy August 4, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Word.

  2. randy August 4, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    i love talking about gear (be it photography or any other hobby of mine), but i never forget why i do this: because i love it! even if i spend hours out “in the field” snapping away and come home with nothing good, i remember how much fun it was to be out there. and that’s what motivates me to get up and do it again next time.

  3. Vanessa Day August 4, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Thanks for bringing us back to the roots of why we started all this craziness.

  4. Jaime Clapp August 4, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    You nailed it!

  5. PK August 4, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Thanks for trying to bring focus back to art of photography. I find blogs that talk about the creative process of making an image more interesting than those just dump latest equipment specs acting as shills for their sponsors.

  6. Brian August 4, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    You gotta love what you do and you’ll only progress naturally. Love it people! Love it!!

  7. Leoraul Torres August 4, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Funny thing… I went back last week to my best photos in iPhoto and created a Slideshow with them just for fun. Back in those I was terrible at making technical decisions when shooting, but it was the love of shooting and sharing what made the spark … I had to remind myself of it.

  8. RichD August 4, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Perhaps a better title would be “For the Love of WHAT You Photograph” …

  9. mark jobson August 4, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    This is exactly why I started my latest (frankly quite bonkers) project. http://www.shotbyjobson.com/blog/?p=381

    … and I feel better for it already.

    Take a step backwards. Remember why you are a photographer. Be young again.

  10. Errol Dunlap August 4, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Great post! I am constantly taking photos in my head. It took my girlfriend some “understanding”…but she gets it now. This shot was a late nighter: http://erroldunlap.com/blog/among-us/

  11. Ka Linin August 4, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Please continue. More people should know that money couldnt be the purpose of the life. Time is passing, money also but memory of the good moments stays with you forever. Even if you have no gear you can do photography using your eyes, brain and emotions… Thanks Chase for what you are doing!

  12. Aly August 4, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    I’ve just started a placement at a small photography studio. I don’t really enjoy the type of photography they do, portraits an weddings. I’m really hoping that my own love of images an being abit more creative will shine through and make them be abit more daring with the type of things they will do. I know they want to do more interesting things, it’s just a shame that isn’t what people come to buy from them.

  13. Annthony August 4, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Love the photography philosophy Chase! It’s easy to get caught up and stuck on all the aspects that supplement our passions, rather than focusing the simple love of our trade. Great post :)

  14. Paul McAlister August 4, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    You’ve hit a raw nerve with this one. I get really sad when I hear people enthuse about their gear, not only what they already have, but their shopping list of what they want. They can be so obsessive about it, and also very down putting if you don’t have the very latest and/or the most expensive. Then you see what they are producing with all this wonderful equipment, and know that they don’t have “the eye”, or the flair to produce even average results. I feel particularly sorry when I hear young people getting caught up in the “must have” treadmill. I always try to impress on them that they should worry less about equipment, and more about technique.

    One of the greatest lessons I ever learnt was to start shooting slide film, as it is so unforgiving. When I got the first box of slides back from the processors, and discovered errors in almost every image, it certainly made me think a lot more about what I was doing. Yes it slowed me down a bit, having to think more before every shot, but I learnt a lot which always stayed with me. Sometimes it’s too easy to keep firing away digitally, simply because we can.

    It’s good to stop every so often and ask “What am I doing and why?”

    Thanks for the reminder about why we do it !

  15. Chris Hughes August 4, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    As someone who walked away from taking photos over a decade ago to go work in the film industry I now find myself and my credit card trying to catch up with the technology. Lots to buy and lots to learn but the fundaments remain the same, capturing a vision, something no one else can see. I can do it with out all the technology and quite often frame and take pictures and process them in my head but the camera lets me share my vision and that is the best thing about photography, communicating with others. Technology is just a means to an ends, it’s just like a million dollars on an desert island, useless unless you’ve got somewhere to use it.

  16. nocturn.es August 4, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    I think its an easy trap to fall into – gear is tangible, numbers are reliable. Business is a benchmark, if you’re making money then you must be making good pictures, right? Ultimately as creatives our biggest fear is the failure of our imagination, a lack of vision. The reason behind our photos is arguably as important as images themselves.
    At the same time its a vicious circle – better gear and technical knowledge only mean our photos should be better, our mental images better realised. The mounting pressure of that knowledge (probably subconscious for most) can drive you crazy, even worse if you’re trying to earn money creatively.

    I was fortunate to come to such a realisation rather abruptly – I sold half my gear and shot film exclusively for 3 months, purposefully going out of my way to buy the cheapest stuff available (mostly expired). My sleeping patterns changed as I started listening to my desires more closely, and ended up doing almost all my work between 1am and 5am

    Photography made me nocturnal.

  17. Ryan August 4, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    I definitely see the world in photographs. I notice myself tilting my head or taking a step to the side to look at something from a point of view that I might shoot it from.

    I also sometimes catch myself thinking “that won’t make it
    to print” or “this isn’t something I can use in my portfolio” and kick myself for not just grabbing my camera and SHOOTING PHOTOS.

    Nice post. A reminder for all of us.

  18. Andrew August 4, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    Yup, yup, yup. So true, love your blogs and behind the camera video segments also.

  19. Chellise Michael. NYC August 4, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Well put. Simple. I get into these conversations all of the time. It drives me crazy. I just love taking photos. Thats it. I dream at night through a viewfinder. I wish I had an SD card in my brain to capture things when my camera is not on me.

    Chellise Michael

  20. Ali Sharaf August 4, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    great article! uncomplicated and to the point!

  21. jimmyD August 4, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    Exactly. Worse, too many complicate the process unnecessarily. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” -Albert Einstein.

  22. Stuart Webster August 4, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    A fantastic blog post, I’ve recently gone back to shooting with a 50mm f1.8 all time and finding ways to make it work for me rather than swapping out lenses all the time.

    I’ve created some interesting images really feel much happier with my work, this was partially inspired by watching and listening to David duChemin on Creative Live.

    Thanks to you Chase for Creative Live, thanks to David for wise words and thanks to the whole photography community online for inspiring, challenging and supporting.

    Feel the love people.

  23. Diego shyba August 4, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Very nice work in American photographers of Brazil also
    ‘re doing a good job after a look at our
    work>>>
    http://www.fotom.com.br/fotografia/galeriaCasamentos.aspx?
    Gallery = 3685

  24. Dwayne D.C. Tucker II August 4, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Yo Chase! What’s up?

    Nice post short and sweet! I’ve been waiting for you new article haha went to the site and said oh the video is not there anymore something new.

    Anyway, I respect your love for photography bro! I feel the same love for it, but you’re in the position running the game with your love for photography and I look up to that big time!

    This post reminds me the article I did a few days ago titled Take The Damn Photo. I’m not gonna post a link here in your comments making it all spamy and shit but you should see my website from your backend of this site on the front page (today) you will see the headline. Make my day and comment on my post bro lol!

    Much love!


    DT.
    Miami, Florida | Nassau,Bahamas

  25. Ghislain August 4, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Everytime I did all the above…. I was a happy man. Photography is a passion and you must live your passion as is. Every time you do something just for money, it won’t be as refreshing, as good and as complete.

  26. Chad latta August 4, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Sometimes I like to think and talk about gear to distract me from the fact that I am scared I am not creative.

  27. Kerry August 4, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Don’t ever forget…. Photography is magic. Freezing three dimensional space and time on a two dimensional plane, is….. magic.

    K

  28. Manson August 4, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    My family owned a photofinishing business in the days before digital. I have seen people with the most expensive gear capture the worst photographic images. Conversely, I have seen people with the most simple gear make great photographic art. Anyone can press the button. It takes someone with an eye and vision to capture images that resonate with the viewer.
    Camera gear can make the process easier if you know how and why you are using it.

  29. Johnny August 4, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Thanks for this. I’m so tired of people missing the forest for the trees (cameras for the photos they produce). I don’t care if you shoot a cardboard box with a hole in it, it’s the results – the photos – that come out of the experience that have soul, value, the ability to envoke change… Anyway, well put.

  30. Adam August 4, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    I love photography but is it the right career for me? How do I know?

  31. Andy August 4, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    I see you mentioned android there…. so when is it coming out :)

  32. echard August 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    amen! i feel like i don’t know anyone in my area who just takes photos for the love of it. it’s funny too. because many of my peers are copying good wedding photogs who are copying the greats….and they don’t even know it. it’s all L glass and photoshop.

    reminds me of a saying i heard: when a bunch of photogs get together all they talk about is business and money, when bankers get together they talk about art. or something like that.

  33. Isai August 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    So true. When im at home doing something wether im in the computer or with the family, I always stop what im doing at 6pm and go outside to photograph. And i do see things as pictures. I point out stuff the look interesting to me but to others it might just be “the sky” or “a flower” Photography really opens up your eyes to the smallest detail provided on Earth. I myself see the picture before i even take it.

  34. Sam August 4, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    I have been getting up at 5 am and leaving the house to explore my town in the light of dawn through images. I am burnt, but it is worth it. For me, the love is the only reason to take photos. I have a 9-5 job as a product photographer and that pays the bills. All the rest is just joy.

    Sam

  35. SFMoe August 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    yes
    yes
    yes
    yes
    yes

    and now I am willing to lock myself in a light tight bathroom to load film into a developing canister in 90° weather with god awful humidity (need to figure out ventilation cause i end up sweaty!)

  36. Q August 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Seriously dude. Thanks for saying it.

    Make pictures because you have to.

    I have hacked my meh gear, I’m not pro (I’m a student), I don’t actually care about the business (I probably should), I could easily chat about numbers and light, but really it’s the making. The making is the part that gets me out of bed. I’m equally interested in what other people are making, first the picture and then how the picture was made, maybe. The end result is what people will remember.

  37. Wouter Brandsma August 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    That is all there is in photography Chase. The gear suits a purpose, but doesn’t make you a talented photographer. Seeing, feeling, interpreting, and visualizing is what matters.

  38. Sarah August 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    This is just what I needed to read today! I am really struggling with my very new photography business. I am having a hard time balancing having 2 little ones and business “stuff”. I actually decided a few days ago to put my photo biz on the back burner for a while. Then I got three requests for shoots, and one for some lessons (blog and PS help). I actually couldn’t sleep last night, because I was so excited and my brain would not shut off. I guess it’s a sign that I need to keep working on growing my photo business and try to get the balancing part figured out.

  39. Michal Garcia August 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    I make pictures because there’s an itch in my brain than can only be scratched in a particular way. It’s the same reason I play music. You just need it.

    See y’all on Monday at the studio.

  40. Marc Wiegelmann August 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    this is so dann right! Great blogpost!

  41. Justin Chando August 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Amen to that… seriously buried here with editing and biz work. Need a break to just go out and shoot for myself.

  42. Bill Raab August 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    I do all those things you mention. If one does not love photography for what it is and what it brings but rather the periphery why even bother? It would hold nothing for me.

  43. William Beem August 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    I disagree with you. The fact that we’re talking about it demonstrates the love. This is a case where actions speak louder than words, even if words are the actions.

    We wouldn’t be talking about photography, technique, gear, or how to make it a better business if we didn’t love it in the first place. Saying “I love photography” does not really matter.

  44. Billie August 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    So true! It should be an instinctive action! Great entry, Chase! Hi to everyone!

  45. Steffin Greyling August 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    I LOVE Photography! Just as its a habit to have my practiced bravado cigarette before bed, its a habit for me to take photos of ANYTHING or ANYONE who’ll be a kick ass set of pixels on my monitor and then saved in the depths of my D:\. I love searching through my hard drive at forgotten photos. I love photography for the simple reason of it being photography. My 7D is just over a month old and 2000+ shutter counts, and not one photo is for work purposes. I love capturing something awesome. like a wave about to crash, knowing that same particular wave will never exist again :) haha maybe I’m getting too deep. It’s late, I need coffee…

  46. dan speicher August 4, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    I’ve been in Nicaragua for the past two weeks on a mission trip documenting life in the city dump “la Chureca”. While my cameras are always around my neck, there are times when I find my self shooting with my film cameras for days on end. Last weekend I shot with an f100 and film because I wanted to get excited when I got the film back I wanted to remember a feeling when I look at the proofs. I could have had my dslrs but a simple f100 and my camera phone kept me plenty busy. A tool is just that, but vision and basics excite my mind.

    Ps when is the best cam coming to Android

    Thanks for posting what was on my mind.

  47. Mike Young August 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    I’m becoming painfully more and more aware that there is a nasty Jekyll & Hyde thing going on within my photographer persona…The stoic Jekyll whisper swirls around me like a misty morning fog telling me that no currents exist big enough for me to escape the gravity of the crap at which I currently reside…

    Hyde concedes that I should not give up the day job, but like a morning ray of light cutting through the gray fog mist, cannot imagine what life would be like if I were to give up and not pursue to bloody nubs this intense desire to quench the thirst of delivering photographic happiness to all that come before my lensic eyeball and the Hell-Raiser pain/joy of a compulsive pursuit of photographic learning and perfection. Oh, God, I’m tired…

    [...looking behind me, my life flashes before me as I glimpse the Waaaambulance barreling down on my backside...]

  48. Joel smith August 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Chase get post, I have been doing this profession for 16 years and each day I try out new things and push my level of photography. Everyday I love getting up and doing my job!

    Joel SMith

  49. Brian Perkins August 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    CheerZ m8!

  50. Kiffanie August 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder Chase! Sometimes I get too caught up in my head and all the things I am supposed to be doing to really look around me for photographs. This post was just what I needed to get out of my head and wander around with my iPhone looking for something fun and inspiring to shoot.

  51. Otto Rascon August 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Amen to this post. I sometimes wonder how much my photog buddies really love this art form. I, too often, hear talk of business, meetings, strategies, and hardly ever hear about the drive/desire/love to create photographs. Thanks Chase!

    • Richard Clark August 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

      I really don’t spend too much time wondering what others do, I love images, I love street photography, landscapes and then there is always the obscure.
      Me, a Leica, that’s it, snapping away, I have no idea whether I am good, bad or indifferent, doesn’t really matter. I have been a very successful film editor and now I have added photography and writing to the mix. That certainly fills my head with creative challenges, so don’t need to worry about all the technical shit.

      • Dejan August 4, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

        Chase, You Know You Love Photography when your like me. Im twelve years old, you have to get that in your head, and most people dont get that. I have a Canon EOS 50D I have spent thousands of dollars on grear and equitment. I would in the winter work 6-12 hours a day shoveling snow here in Canada. Each second of work doesnt even compare to how much I love the sound of a cameras shutter. Im one of those people who can walk outside and take hundreds of photos and only spend a few minutes.

        • Dejan August 4, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

          Minutes outside. That is how much I love photography and Chase if you happen to read this, I flew from Alberta Canada all the way to Seattle alone just to come and see you and capture those memories with a photograph just to find out that you werent in Seattle you were at a Ski Photo shoot. Ive stopped buying gear, tranfering pictures to my laptop and then deleting them because im saving up to take that trip. Ive learned photography the hard way. Im planning in the Spring of 2011 to come visit you again Chase. And just imagine how upset I was when you werent there. That is love and passion of the art of photography
          From your good friend
          Dejan

  52. Lorenzo August 4, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    I totally agree with you Chase…I’m a photographer and sometimes it’s difficult to take time to do photography for myself and not for someone else…

    I think that’s the biggest problem when you became a “Pro”….

    But…about a month ago I started a new photographic project that is mostly interesting for me, because it allows me to take my time, see things with no pressure and think about each picture I want to save on film.

    It would be great if also other photographers will write about “vision” on their blogs; it would be great for all the photographic industry.

  53. Tim Skipper August 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Great blog today, very similar to the Guest Blog on Scott Kelby. I’ve started a project where I take at least one picture a day this year to keep a camera in front of my eye and remind myself that client or no client, its about the photography.

  54. Michael Ririe August 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more! I think we all should regularly analyze why we love photography… just this practice alone will remind us to return to the reasons we’ve began in the first place.

  55. Andres Castaneda August 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Simply… YES.

  56. tripleman August 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    I love taking shots and processing them with my phone. It’s stripped-down photo finding.

    http://www.tripleman.tumblr.com

  57. diala chinedu August 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    YES!!! Finally!!! I’m glad someone in the industry respects the pure LOVE for photography…I always get told that I have no business sense relating to photography (which is true) but most times, I just want to take pictures for the pure love of taking pictures…I’m happy to see this post and i can relate 100%

  58. a girl and a camera photography August 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm #

    yes, i think about it everyday!

  59. Deb August 4, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Ditto….you should pick up your camera, smile and think what can I get into today. I feel like I have a full personality with a camera in my hand.

  60. Norman August 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder Chase…I guess sometime we forget.

  61. Normand Desjardins August 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Yes to all your question! :)

    The proof : http://www.flickr.com/photos/cafemoka/

  62. JP August 4, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    I just take pictures the simplest way possible.. I still believe that less is more….More meaningful in my point of view

  63. Ryan-Vincent Alvarez August 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Great post. It’s very true. I was always under the impression that gear always depicted the outcome of my photographs. Boy was I wrong. It hit me when one of my coworkers asked me to do some headshots for a corporate team introduction and during our one-on-one she’s asked me “so what got you into photography?” and she explained why she chose me, an exec assistant to take her photos vs one of our company designers was because she felt that my personal works really impressed her, it was very endearing to me. I then realized that what impresses me is what matters most with my photography. When your pictures depict your love for photography, it shows, and from there others will really get the sense of who you are as an artist, impress others, and open the doors of opportunity. Thanks for sharing that Chase.

  64. Niels August 5, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    Well, i fear that goes not only for photography Chase. I work in the webgame/flash development and here it is often also about “the new technology “XYZ” we MUST use now because it is “fancy argument here” And people (who work in the same area) often discuss if a button has the right animation. And not if the game is fun. Well, in germany that is, i know it is somewhat better in other countrys.

    It may be a side effect of the internet era and the possibility to instantly see what others do, compare yourself, envy, love, share. And yes, you are right. It is because people want answers, real ones. That is why philosophers lived in a barrel long ago. Nobody wants to talk for ages about feelings :) And, sadly, many people have not the … let me say ego cause i lack the right english words atm … to say “i love his/her stuff” without saying “and here look at mine, i am great too” People hunt a pat on the back, even more when on the internet.

    But there may be other approaches. I a.e. buy gear because i also love gear. Hiking stuff, camera stuff, tech gadgets, whatever. I ordered myself a 5d recently. And hell, i really do not need it. I am a graphic artist, i make zero money with photography. But i want to have one to bring my stuff to a next level, just for myself. Just to play around with it. And yes, i could discuss tech stuff on the itnernet – but what for?

    I may have good gear. But still, pick a random 5 of real photographers, give them a point and shoot or an iphone and they still will make stuff that will amaze me, make me stop right in my tracks and look at it.

    That is what pictures should do. And gear can only stop geeks like me to look at. Pictures can stop anybody. Touch anybody.

    I would love to see more people just doing things. And more people stop making “the sharpness in the corners is not optimal at 300%” comments.

    So, for the love of photography and art, i will now go out on my lunch break and take a look at the world. I wish you a good time Chase, keep up the great work. It is inspirational to see what you and Zack and others are doing.

    Lots of love from germany
    Niels

  65. SACHA August 5, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    It’s sometime very difficult to stop yourself and think about the reason why you are taking photographs..for me specially….But when i think of the passion i had (and still have) when i shot my first roll of film..It all comes back to me…It’s all about the passion!!

    Bye from the lowlands(netherlands)

    Sacha

  66. Craig August 5, 2010 at 2:55 am #

    Not just for the love of “photography” but also just for the love of CREATING!

  67. Morten Koldby August 5, 2010 at 3:12 am #

    Good point, I totally agree. Gear is irrelevant if you don’t have an idea.

    Allways good to lose yourself in a book or excibition and get motivated to create…

    best regards

    Morten Koldby, DK

  68. Steven Geer August 5, 2010 at 6:01 am #

    Right on Chase! Fantastic post, thank you for sharing!

  69. Becky August 5, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Amen to that. I am obsessed with photography and not afraid to say so. and I have reverted back to film because it feels more low tech to me-manual focus and manual everything…..

  70. Mel Haynes Jr August 5, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    Chase, it seems this topic must be in the air lately. I just wrote about this from my latest late night, no prep, shoot. I had all the gear that I needed, tried everything, but my vision was not being realized with all the fancy strobes and pocketwizards so, during the shoot, I ditched all the lights and went low tech.
    Soo many people spend their time talking about learning their gear and what to use it for, but the “what to use it for” part seems to be missing. I hate to say it, but most of the photographers I know come from the tech industry and think all the new gear they can buy with the big incomes will make them photographers, but they end up just putting models in boring places with no creative thought. Gear doesn’t make you an artist and you can’t buy your way into being one.
    I spend late nights in new areas testing ideas, but realize I can’t make whats in my head work for a new fun spot I found so I go away. I constantly think and daydream about things I want to do or see a new location that has potential and figure out how to use it…often times not being able to. Just because something looks interesting, doesn’t always mean its a great photo.90% of my time is spent crafting the vision, the rest is just technical.
    With all that said, to get to that 10% technical ratio, I spend many days, nights, weekends, invented time, etc. learning my gear so that I don’t have to think about it, but still you can’t just buy all this great stuff to make “perfect” exposures and expect the rest to fall into place.
    Ok I’ve rambled enough. Great post, Chase.

  71. Peter Finnie August 5, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Amen to that Chase!

    Creativity, vision, and collaboration are the very things that need to be discussed MORE!
    I would certainly argue that the ‘feel’ of photography is often the thing that most people searching for answers about technique really need to attend to.

    Yep…no dials or settings there, but it’s an intangible that can be developed by asking different questions and
    shooting…shooting…shooting.

    Thanks for the post! It’s an important thing to point out.

    Cheers,
    Peter (biffspandex) Finnie

  72. Mark Fenwick August 5, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Thanks for posting this! To be a true photographer you need to love photography and have a passion for images. Here is a wonderful quote from T. Alan Armstrong, “If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.”

  73. Jake Benjimin August 5, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    Hey, Great Blog! Check out this new iPhone/iPad app called PhotoFrames! Created by master framer Eli Wilner, you can now frame your digital photos right from your phone! Check it out!

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photoframes-lite-by-eli-wilner/id376363042?mt=8

  74. rodrigo August 5, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    sometimes forget the simple things in life are those that fill us with joy over how to take pictures done is nothing but an impulse

  75. john hildebrand August 5, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    I love photography and art more than anything. Yes selling yourself is so hard. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to stress about making money and just take photos of things that make me happy and that I have fun with.

    Once you get to a level in photography it almost seems like you can just pick up a camera and shoot what ever. It seems like such a production everytime just to have fun and play around with your camera.

    I have been trying a lot more just to pick the camera up and shoot what ever with no production just shoot.

  76. Anthony August 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    Great post. I do often times try to remind myself that I love photography for what it is and why I love it for me, not for a client, not for a portfolio, not for anything but me. It is then that I realize that I really do have a love for photography. Its not the cheapest hobby/profession but it is something that I love and something that makes me feel good.

  77. Michal Fanta August 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Great post as always! While reading your post I realized that a lot of flickr users are true picture lovers as you described. There is not much questions about the gear in the comments and it is really easy to get lost in the great photographs there. From time to time when I have to wait somewhere I take out my iphone and I am looking at flickr photos to kill the waiting time.

  78. Michal Fanta August 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    While reading your post I realized that a lot of flickr users are true picture lovers as you described. There is not much questions about the gear in the comments and it is really easy to get lost in the great photographs there. From time to time when I have to wait somewhere I take out my iphone and I am looking at flickr photos to kill the waiting time.

  79. Nicole Landgrebe August 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    wow…. I love taking pictures…..I feel them…..I love to look at them afterwards, hours of looking looking and looking….our memory is something that fails us after years and years of life…. we forget what we did when we were 6 or 14 or 32 or even now at 42…. but a picture can bring you right back there in the second that you look at it…. I cant get enough… I need more and more and more memories….

  80. Sam August 5, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Usually I like posts about gear and ones with videos but this has just taken the place of “Favorite Post” for me.

  81. Rohan Thacker August 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Its really good to here that some people in this industry are still humble and true to their roots. Nice one chase.

  82. Boris Kretonic August 6, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    I think there is nothing bad in being in love with the gear too. These days we have an access to amazing gear that lets us do things we couldn’t before.

    I agree that in many cases people loose their perspective, forget the reasons why they get into photography, and get caught in the game of switching (or better said: blaming) gear and other stuff. It happens mostly because they are not satisfied with results they are getting. Lets face it: not having the right gear is the easiest excuse ever. :-)

    But, being one of the lucky ones (journalist and producer with an acces to loads and loads of photo/video gear), I can tell you that there is no gear that doesn’t have some limitations. Our job as photographers (or videographers) is to work arround those limitations, and not let the limitations affect our creativity, and get the best possible results for us (or our clients).

    Photographer needs to know its gear to work its strenghts and avoid their weaknesses.

    We are living in a great time. Photo equipment has never been better and more accessible to everyone. Internet is a great resource for learning different techniques, and we have access to many other photographers to share our work and opinions. This is the time to enjoy.

    Warm regards,
    Boris

    • Grace Beckum August 6, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

      To begin w/ I had a 35mm point and shoot canon I wore out, no zoom! I competed in Dallas State Fair againt people using fine equipment. My “gift” caused me to place first in B&W Rural. Because of financial limitations, I buy what I can afford! Once I inquired from a professor about equipment, his response was, “I’ve seen some terrrible images made with fine equipment and some beautiful images made with less expensive equipment”. With this I was inspired! I was in a lab recently and inquired whether the employee could distinguish camera type used per job, she said, “no”! I do it “for the love of photography”, yet love my equipment! When inventory is greater than passion you’ve lost it! Happy Shooting!

  83. Daniel Mu August 6, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    Creativity. Simplicity. Passion. This is exactly what photography is all about. Great post.

  84. Greg Brave August 7, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    Actually I don’t think that love for gear is a bad thing. I am sure that there are many people out there who are very creative but also love their gear. I know that somehow most of the people think that either you love playing with gear or you are really creative and don’t care about what are you shooting with, but I don’t agree with it.
    Sure that vision is very important in photography, but the quality of the end result is also important. Maybe less important but still. And as some said in comments here the “L glass” can deliver this quality. If you are creative person, having a good (or great) gear can only improve your end result.
    And also you have to know your gear in order to use it to its full extent and have it help you express your vision.
    So, in short, people, don’t dismiss gear!

  85. Jason Collin Photography August 7, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    I definitely love to go hunting for photographs…when I have the time. The thing about making your job in photography is that the things Chase first mentioned, the gear, the business, etc. can come to dominate how photography is represented in one’s life.

    But even when I am out driving with the family to the grocery store, my eyes constantly frame things as photographs. If I glance at a scene things like, “I’d compose like this, shoot low, probably be black & white” pop through my head, and I’ll make a mental picture of it. Maybe some day I’ll go back to that spot and photograph it.

    For a couple months I regularly drove by a couple of monster 4×4 trucks parked in front of an auto shop. I always said to myself, got to get out here and photograph them sometime. Well, I finally made the time and did:

    http://jasoncollinphotography.com/blog/2009/12/22/monster-4x4s-of-16th-avenue.html

    And I was very glad I finally got around to shooting them because as sedentary as they looked, the next time I drove by they were gone and I have not seen them back since.

  86. Bradley Thomas August 7, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Chase,
    Came up with this quote the other day and then I watched several of your podcasts and thougth that it applied to you as well as a few other photographers I follow.

    Quote: I want to be an inspiration to someone I will never meet, never know and hope they do something great!! ~bradley thomas

    Keep up the Great work!

  87. Rafa Villa August 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Thats right sometime too much work make us forget the joy of taking a good image

  88. Duane August 8, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Thanks.. You have described perfectly the passion of photography. I put 12 years of work in a box and changed careers because of the “business” of photography. Met someone last night who pointed me to your site and glad I looked. I still have the passion and now have a renewed perspective. Funny, always thought pictures where more powerful than words, yet your words motivated me to make a comment, which is the first time I’ve ever made a comment. Anyway, thanks..oh and I love using my Droid’s camera, lots of fun!

  89. Brittani August 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm #


    well said.

  90. Sam August 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Photography is about the moment not the gear. By the way for anyone interested check out the DC Photo Book. Great photos taken from places that are now inaccesible.

  91. Christopher August 9, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    i feel it chase, right on

  92. Carley Brown August 9, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    My friend, who loves photography, see’s life as a photograph. He dreams in photographs and pictures of what his life will look like. I think its awesome and I’ve started doing it myself more and more.

  93. Donnie Bell Design August 9, 2010 at 7:07 am #

    That’s what separates the good from the great: love for what they do.

  94. Brittany August 9, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Wow. Thanks for saying it.
    I can talk numbers. I can talk tech and gear. But I hate doing it. I hate it SO much. That’s all I really hear about nowadays! Use this lens-or this lens is perfect for this and this! It’s horribly boring. What about vision? What about ideas? What about your adventures in capturing a certain image? I find that discussing these topics are so enlightening. You really get a sense of who the person is and how passionate they are.
    I have a book full of concept sketches that I would absolutely love to show people. But when they hear about my love for photography, they would rather hear about the camera or if I’m ever going to make money off of it.
    You’re completely right Chase. Love the art of photography and don’t forget about it!

  95. Justin Bailey August 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Hail Chase!

    Well nothing to add, its about time we were all give a polaroid camera and told to get on with it! Like video, hiring is the way forward pick what you need for the job instead of worrying about what you have GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY ( I mean go and shoot and have fun )

    Justin

  96. Chris Plante August 10, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    I am happy to admit I do all those things. Except, I don’t have a phone in my camera. Yes, imagine that, a photographer(ok, I’m not a real photographer but a pretend one) that doesn’t own an iPhone.

    Sadly, I ingest many more images than I produce. I do admit that I would love an F.1.2 lens implanted into my eye socket because I constantly walk around looking at angles, texture, compositions, ect. I don’t watch much TV. I spend my spare time on Flickr, reading photographer blogs, reading photography books, and photography magazines. All Tog All the Time! Except when I ride my motorbike :)

  97. Justin Quinton August 10, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    You are right..of course. And I can say that both in my photography and music I have always been a non gear/business artist. Learn the basics, know your theory as much as you can, and let everyone else worry about the rest. That being said it is nice to have a gear junky around when you NEED to make a purchase.

  98. Rob August 11, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    Well put Chase. Your photographs and your blog are really inspiring to me.

    Chris Buck’s photos are pretty inspiring too, not too technical.. alot of natural lighting. but amazing, creative portraits…

    I would also check out Bill Diodato’s blog as well: http://www.billdiodato.com/blog (he recently did a great fine art body of work which i went to the book release for)

  99. Jim August 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Ok,I’m busted. I’m a photoholic and have been for thirty years, there I said it. I know I need help with my addiction, no not the gear I got off that stuff years ago. I mean with light, I have worked nights many years and see that morning light that many have never seen coming thru the windshield of a truck rolling down the interstate and still view it as a beautiful thing,sunsets are beautiful but there’s something about the mornings. I took photos in my head when I didn’t have a camera or film for my camera.
    In answer to your questions
    Yes, I re-read books that I have re-read, my wife says it’s scarry, I get into a “Trance of Concentration”
    I don’t have and Ipod, I have a phone that doesn’t take pictures and cameras that don’t ring. I still have my FE2 does that count?
    I’m going hunting right now and all day Saturday.
    I gave up sleeping, 5 hours and a power nap does it for me.
    The last one is a good one, years ago I was given my wifes grandmothers photo albums and her husbands WWII documents when they died because they knew of my love of photography. While I didn’t study the lighting or comment on how I could have done better, I looked and still look at them as a “Book Of Life” with all the writings and dates on the back I got to step inside a families life witnessed by few.
    So yes I see my life as polarids in my head, some are just left in the developer a little longer than others.
    Don’t stop doing what your doing.

    PS, I’m still shooting with my D2X, so if anyone would like to help me experience the “gear addiction send me a D3S.

  100. adam August 13, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Love the lead-in shot for this! Sweet pic!

  101. UTogger August 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Wonderful sentiments. Well said!

  102. Jonathan August 15, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    nice words chase, appreciated when having a down day!

  103. bythewei August 16, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    I hear you pal.

    I sold my 5D to focus on shooting with my Mamiya 645 Pro.

    In the end, i enjoyed the experience of seeing, feeling and shooting, that comes with using my Mamiya.

    These days, i don’t feel that anymore with my 5D.

    Sure, there are lots of OOF photos. But the tremendous satisfaction you get while crafting and setting up a photo = priceless.

  104. Kyle Bromley August 17, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Seeing this post hit home for me! As a photographer i find myself walking downtown Gainesville with some tmax400 just snapping what reminds me of what im feeling at the end of the day. There was this old hospital being demolished and it made me recall the night before feeling like my world was falling piece by piece. For me photographing is something i always did even before I knew what money was! The best pictures in my body of work were from when i was eight years old and used to just snap these shots of my little fun filled world without even thinking about anything.

  105. Jim August 18, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    some days I feel it… other days i find it just as easy to get lost in a book.

  106. Renee August 25, 2010 at 7:38 am #

    I love this post. The questions get right at the heart of why I am a photographer. I see pictures everywhere I go, everywhere I look.

  107. Los Angeles Photographer Patrick Bowman September 9, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    Can you pick up a book of photographs and get lost in it? I do this ALL the time when I am visiting a friends house. :) It has driven me to give my self a goal to produce a book that someone else can get lost in.

    Can you walk around with your iPhone or Android or your point and shoot or whatever and take 100 pictures knowing that they’ll never be for a client or a portfolio? Man I LOVE my iPhoneography. So many people hate on the iPhone and people who use the iPhone as a photographic device but I think that is just silly. There are so many ways to be creative; why limit yourself?

    Do you love hunting for pictures? I’ve spent way too much time browsing Flickr or randoming on StumbleUpon.

    Will you stay up late or get up early for pictures? I stay up late and hunt photos. I also go out late to take photos. I would like to get up early to shoot a sunrise but every time I try I go right back to sleep :(

    Do you sometimes ‘see’ life as a photograph? I see everything as a photograph.

  108. Getty Image Office Philippines January 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Hi there, nice blog. How inspiring your words are. I agree to it that in photography you must give your heart and love what you are doing and enjoy.

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