The Power Of A Comment

gigi-embrechts-blog-81

gigi-embrechts-blog-81

Sometimes life can be confusing especially with all the information that is at our finger tips. I have to be so careful of my addiction to learning on the internet right now. When I decided a few years back that I needed to learn and attempt to master a skill I turned to the internet for inspiration. I was drawn to the amazing photographs that would appear on my screen. I also realized how many beautiful things there were in my world and wanted to try to capture not only the image but what it was saying to me. So I began my journey of education in everything photography.

I would say I am self-taught, but that is not true because it is the talent and generosity of others that have help me learn photography. Their sharing of techniques and photos, and education and technical advise that has brought me to my skill level today. I have met and work with some amazing teachers over the past years. But with all this education there is one thing no one can teach me and that is how to find my gift, what I want to give to the world what makes my photography a kind of art only I could offer.

This question has been on my mind for quite a while lately. I get so sidetracked watching and learning what other photographers are doing yet not able to find what I am called to do.

Recently I decided to work on an old photograph I took of a friends dog and give it an artful feel. I posted this photograph my Facebook page and it got many comments. Most admiring the beauty of this dog.  But a few comments came through that changed my thinking and made me realize maybe I do have something to offer that is uniquely me.  The comment said  "I wish I knew how you bring out their personalities!" Or this one from someone who recently viewed my website "I can see you have a real passion for horses."   It made me realize that this is not only what I do, but who I am. I see animals deeply when I photograph them and it seems to come through me and at just the right moment I capture them.  I know I need to honor that and work in that direction.

Denver

Denver

Funny how it  can only take a few kind words to set you on your unique path.

I feel we all have gifts to give, if you are seeking to know what yours might be, just ask and listen and it will be revealed to you.

Day Of Rain

Day Of Rain

Today I Am Asking Why???

I just was reading a new book on my Kindle called "The Creative Life in Photography" by Brooks Jensen. This book has got me thinking about why I am doing the type of photography I am doing. I mean really digging deep into why I am photographing horses, dogs, nature etc.. Sure I am always in the pursuit of learning more and perfecting my craft, but why? What is it I am trying to accomplish by photographing my subjects? I sat in silence to really dig deep. Here is what came to me. Since I was small I have been attracted to the animal kingdom. I had an imaginary farm in my head at age three, I still can recall every detail of this farm. As I grew up I was continuously bringing home lost dogs, kittens, rabbits, baby birds, turtles and mice  I drove my parents crazy with these creatures I wanted to have live with us. So there started the root of my interest.

But today after many years of living (59 to be exact) I am asking the question why? What is it about animals and nature that has dominated the decisions I make not only to photograph but how I live my life.

I am now starting to ask why do I want to photograph animals and nature?  Why must I live near them.  Why horses and particularly draft horses, why dogs, why regular dogs and not the beautiful show dogs, why nature, not the landscapes you travel to but the ones I stumble upon.  Not just flowers but weather.

All In A Days Work

Book Store Dog

Frost Bite

 

This is the question I am asking myself today, why?

It never hurts to stop in your life and ask why you are doing what you are doing. It will bring you to a spot to examine your life before you make choices that may lead you away from yourself rather than toward who you really are.

So here are some answers to my why. Because animals let us into their world if we just ask  rather than insist.  Because the draft horse can overpower us but chooses not to.  Because nature can inspire and destroy us all in the same day. Because the relationship is more important than the activity. Because the eyes speak and beauty inspires.

I have a feeling I still need to dig a bit deeper, but a least I know why I photograph what I do. Now I need to ask what I will create with my photography and why.

What is your why?

 

Getting Real With Photography and Business

Ghost Horse I decided to start writing about chasing the dream. That dream of making a decent living with the craft of photography. Did I just get your attention? Probably because most of us who are not doing this just as a hobby are trying to make a living in a very saturated industry.

I heard this quote the other day." If your business is costing you money it is a hobby not a business, is this true? What about the cost of a start-up? What about the cost of education, equipment, marketing, etc for any new business? I think that you should expect it is going to cost you a lot of money to get to the point of making photography a business. It is also going to cost you a tremendous amount of time in practice and education.  Photography is not like a franchise, this is a craft that will  most likely  take years to perfect. I am going on my 6th year of full-time education and daily practice trying to master  my vision. I will not even say what this all has cost me, just incase my husband reads this someday.

Another suggestion I hear is that if there is no competition there is no market.  Really? So we need to do what everyone else is doing  if we want to make a living?  I had to sit with that for a bit. I suppose that is true if you want to be a commodity but if you're an artist, you want to run and run fast from becoming a commodity.

I feel fear when I think about  my vision for my business because I want to focus my photography on draft horses. Which for a business plan in the so-called "real world" would falter due to it is such a small niche part of the market. Then I watched a podcast  on TWIP about this guy  Don Kamarechka who has poured himself into snowflake photography and is now attempting to publish a fabulous book. This got me thinking.  How big could the snow flake market be? But he is now known as the expert in snowflakes. Who could imagine that for a market?

The world does not need more of what we have already have. We need new stories, visions, art, products, and perspectives.

It is so easy to walk down the path that is well-worn and mapped out. But to follow the path your heart is calling you to follow takes courage, dedication and the wiliness to not listen to the masses. I believe you are experiencing such a calling when you feel fear at the very thought of doing what you have been called to do. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of status and reputation. When you feel these fears it is a good sign that you are on to something and you need to take serious look at this because there is something here  that is designed with you in mind.  It is also a path that you can choose to follow or pass up it is completely up to you but if you pass up the inspiration it will move on to someone else and you will have missed the opportunity. I am sure you can recall such a situation.

Will I be able to pay my bills and live a comfortable life by following my heart? I have no idea, but you can follow along with me as I share with you this dream and vision and the challenges I am sure to face.

Let the journey begin. I will post something about my journey each Tuesday, even if it is just to say I can not post today because of  ???