How to Thrive as a Photographer

Growth. Inspiration and photo motivation. What is the key?

1. What does it mean to thrive?

The first simple thought is this; what does it mean to thrive as a photographer?

The interesting notion is that if you think about the etymology of the word thrive, it means to seize, prosper. Also from the Proto Indo European *terp-, which means to satisfy, enjoy.

To take, to grow was perhaps seen as the same thing.

For example, let us consider the Latin carpe diem, which literally means to seize the day.

In modern day society, one is not permitted to seize anything. Why? Notions of private property, etc.

But if you consider that you were the ancient Greeks, in order to gain and prosper, it was zero-sum; you had to seize from others. Other foreign people, their resources, women, men, slaves, labor, etc.

For example let us consider ancient war. War was waged in order to expand the empire of a certain nation, or to seize the resources and the human labor of another nation.

But taking it back to our own private notion, to thrive means to prosper to grow and to flourish. I like the notion of creative flourishing. And also, it is not zero-sum, which means, we can all thrive together. My thriving doesn’t mean your belittling. The same thing with the gym; because I am stronger than you doesn’t mean that you are weaker than me. Everyone could gain a seven plates squat hold.

2. Go off the grid

Social media is a trap and a prison. Digital sharecropping. Social media slavery

Delete your instagram.

Instagram is for slaves. I call it “Insta-losers”. Or “InstaSlaves”.

Delete your instagram — probably the 1000x most critical thing you can do to unchain yourself and become creatively free.

3. Blog

Blogging is the future for photographers. What is a blog? I Blog is just the website which gets updated frequently.

Consider, assuming you have a blog, there are an infinite amount of ways you can customize your website, blog, viewing experience, galleries, slide shows and other ways to share.

In fact, my thought is that blogging your photos is actually superior to printing your photos into a hardcover book.

Why? Unlimited free global distribution, immediacy, it is practically free. Jeff Bezos — Invent and Wander — he shared some very optimistic thoughts on the Washington post, in terms of digital distribution.

Even one thing I am grateful for is that when I started my YouTube channel in 2010, there was no notion of “good“ video editing. The only real portable video camera at the time was the original GoPro hero, no LCD screen, maybe 480p, maybe 720 P, I don’t even remember. Yet, the barrier to entry was so low, and there was zero intimidation. YouTube was just a free place you could host your videos, this was before they were advertisements.

4. What does it mean to thrive or flourish as a photographer?

Personally speaking, I think it means to have insane self-esteem in yourself and your photos, zero comparison with others, and interest in creating new images. In fact, nowadays, while I do have gratitude for my past photos, I am more interested in my current and potential future photos, than my past photos.

New photos are key.

Once again, if you are hungry and inspired and motivated to create new images, consider yourself blessed.