I have to say that I am a pretty passionate guy when it comes to street photography. However as I have recently noticed, passion simply isn’t enough when it comes to street photography. There are days that we aren’t going to feel inspired, which makes it really difficult for us to get in the streets and shoot.
Being quite interested in writing, I have read quite a few books on the subject. One of the wonderful books on writing titled, “Writing Down the Bones” gives an analogy on writing which I can relate closely with street photography. Writers aren’t always inspired to write, but they must set goals for their writing and be persistent and write everyday. For example, writers give themself rules to write at least a few pages a day. As a street photographer, we can apply this rule to ourselves as well (except with photography). We aren’t always going to feel inspired to shoot street photographs, so we need to make a goal to at least take a few photos everyday.
In Malcom Gladwell’s book “Outliers” he discusses the “10,000-Hour Rule”. According to his research, all of the successful people in the world such as The Beatles and Bill Gates have dedicated at least 10,000 hours to their craft. The Beatles have performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, which amounts to about 10,000 hours. Bill Gates, who started programming at the age of 13, has programmed for at least 10,000 hours as well.
Have you shot on the streets for 10,000 hours yet? Think hard about it. 10,000 hours is a lot of time. If you compile up the time, 10,000 hours is about 417 days (assuming you took photos without any break). If you are diligent with your street photography and shoot for at least an hour a day, it will still take you 10,000 days (or 27.4 years) to truly master street photography. Now don’t let that massive number discourage you. Think about baby steps. Just shoot an hour a day, and the time will add up. Don’t have an hour a day to shoot? Make the time. Use your lunch breaks as I do to go out and shoot. If you care about something enough, you will make excuses to do something (not against).
Do you ever feel like you fall into slumps when you don’t feel like going out and shooting? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and opinion on the subject!