About daring and practising

Some time ago I decided to become a full time photographer. It’s not something easy to decide but it’s something we must face at some point when you are working on an artistic field. If you want to make a living out of that you need to give it all your time. I followed my own motto and a sentence I always have in my head (“your life is yours to create”) and I jumped to the abysm of the uncertain life. Life is uncertain no matter what you do. And I DO know I want to fill it and write it with light.

So first step. Learn, learn and learn. I’m attending seminars and workshops to learn what I’m missing in photography and in business. I’m learning how to create my own business… but really… that’s just a practical thing to do, that is not going to make you a photographer. YOU are the person, the pillar and – put it this way – the product. Your art is what you are. So what really matters is getting better and practice.

I’m creating my business focusing on artistic portrait and wedding photography (want to fight against the classical concept of wedding photography you can find in Spain) so it was a good chance to practice portraits in group when a friend of mine ask me to take photos of him and three friends. We met the morning of a sunny Saturday. Couldn’t choose the time to meet since we all had to re-schedule our timetables but we did have a perfect time.

I was aware of every single detail in the picture and I tried to think about all the elements I needed to make it “perfect.” Lighting, reflections, shadows, bright sun… I was playing against some of the most hated elements by a photographer. The pictures are not perfect but I got my eye used to look at certain things and technical aspects facing problems and situations I don’t tend to get into. I planned different things to do with them four, placing them in different parts of the pictures at the same time I gave them a role in the image. I asked my models to define themselves and to define their mates so I could imagine how they would feel comfortable.

We spent a fabulous time, had so much fun, made me LOVE my job. I ended exhausted and excited, I learnt so much that day. And I know I still have to learn A LOT. And I’m happy about that.

I want to work with colour, now, but they expressly asked me for black&white pictures. That shouldn’t be a problem for me^^


About Emma Espejo

Graduated from English Philology in the University of Barcelona, I wanted to study a phd on Literature but ended dedicating my life to Photography. Full time teacher of English, and full time photographer (a passion can't be neglected). Working on my photography and making other people happy with my photographs makes me happy, as well as a good conversation, reading a good book and watching a good tv series. I'm a reader, dreamer, lover, photographer, writer, thinker... a little bit of everything.
This entry was posted in Personal thoughts, Photographie and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

142 Responses to About daring and practising

  1. Great post and blog. Isn’t it refreshing to know you’re entering a profession where there is always something new to learn and capture?

  2. Ells says:

    Lovely pictures and a great post. I think you’re making the right choice to concentrate on photography full time, natural looking posed group photos are hard to do, but these look nice and relaxed.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed too!

  3. Great Post, thank you for the insightful information. I always wanted to be a photographer.

  4. So since you’re an established, bona fide visual artist, I’m curious which one you like most?

    (I’m an artist too, but sadly, I’m visually challenged. My medium is the screen/page, and my tools are my words!)

    I think they are all beautiful, btw… 🙂

    • Emma Espejo says:

      which picture? haha… they are all my children ^^
      (I have something with the first one… but took many more that day that haven’t been published that are very good, too)


  5. lots of inspiration today in the freshly pressed world…congrats!

  6. The Compulsive Writer says:

    I love the black and white. I’ve have a few black and white historical shots on my blog. (I write short historical fiction stories “explaining” the photo or piece of art). What I’ve found is that it is easy for me to discover the story within the photo…but I can’t imagine doing it the other way around (telling a story with a photo)……does that makes sense? You have a gift! Your photos are really really awesome.

    • Emma Espejo says:

      sure! it makes totally sense!! I have a very similar project in which I try to narrate the moment I took a photo as in a story. For me a picture is a way to write and tell a story in images, feelings and light, the same with words!
      Thank you so much for your visit and your words!! ^_^

  7. Kudos for taking the leap and daring to do what you dream to do:)

  8. B.C. Young says:

    Good work. I’m going through the same thing right now, except with writing. I’ve doven into the field of self-publishing. Juggling my full time job and writing is tough. Hopefully, one day, my full time job will be writing.

    • Emma Espejo says:

      I wish you all the best in your career as a writer. I know, writing is really tough, I do it but only for myself, I don’t dare to publish anything but who knows!
      Keep working and insist in doing what you want. The most important thing is to be happy with what we choose to do. 🙂

  9. Mitchell says:

    This first one looks like a band photo! Speaking of which, that’s a great way to learn how to pose people and just get some more experience – bands are always looking to have their photos taken, especially the underground ones 🙂

    great photos, good luck!

    • Emma Espejo says:

      Thanks!!! Yeah, I like the first one very much….
      It’s a hard work to tell a group of people what to do and how to pose interacting and moving, but my first experience was fun and very enriching. Can’t wait to continue!! 🙂
      Thanks again!!

  10. cristinafra says:

    Muchas felicidades Emma, que orgullosa me siento de tu trabajo y del trabajo que estais haciendo Marta y tu. Habeis llegado a estar en los recomendados, en la primera pagina, siempre me he preguntado que baremo tienen para llegar a esta valoración y para mi sorpresa hoy es mi hija Emma y su amiga Marta las que estan recomendadas.
    MUCHISIMAS FELICIDADES me siento muy contenta y feliz

  11. Hey Emma. Fantastic that you are pursuing a dream, and that you’re embracing everything there is to learn! Enjoyed the post very much! John

  12. midnitechef says:

    Good luck with the business! I have a friend who has been a prof photographer for about 7 years now and she loves it. Dealing with some people can be difficult, she has learned to stand her ground. You have an artistic eye, I love the first picture. Congrats for FP!

  13. countoncross says:

    Love the post. I pictures are so great! I wanted my daughter to have a passion for photography, but she is not there yet. It can tell that it is your passion. 🙂

    • Emma Espejo says:

      Thanks!!! It is my passion! but I have many more, guess we choose what to do with our lifes eventually. I’m sure she’ll find her way to do what she loves! 🙂

  14. Nina says:

    Hey, Emma, these photos look familiar to me! 😉 I’m very happy that your post and blog receives so much attention and comments. You’re doing great! And I’m sure you’ll be doing great, learning a lot and improving your photography, making it even better than you’re now. You’ve made a whole journey since your very first steps in photography and on flickr, and I truly hope this road will take you to some tremendously interesting and inspiring places! Keep going your way! 🙂

    • Emma Espejo says:

      Thank you, Nina!!! it’s been a long journey but it makes me really happy and excited knowing all the things to come and to learn. At some point I felt like I couldn’t improve any more or that it was all I could do, making this decision and facing all the problems I fear in this job makes me feel optimistic and thrilled to face them and solve them. I know I have so many things to learn but I’m looking forward to keep learning for a long time. It feels good knowing you’re walking a way with some stones, but still learning to walk. Thanks for your words, for your friendship and for sharing the journey since years ago^^ Hugs!

  15. aunaqui says:

    It’s great that you’re pursuing your dream. 🙂 I really admire that. I wish I had the courage and determination you possess. There are so many risks I would love to take for the dreams that I nurture — of being a writer, a musician, a photographer — but there is so much to be lost that I cower at the prospect.

    I hope you do well.

    Aun Aqui

    • Emma Espejo says:

      I needed to take some time to think about it all, too. I’m tired of seeing people sad and unhappy doing things they don’t like and that is what we are doing with our lifes. Art is uncertain and difficult, especially because it’s not appreciated, I felt like giving part of my life (all I can) to stress it and make visible and show how important it is. But I think we must also have a very clear idea of what we want. When you find it, go for it if you feel it’s what you want/need to do.

      Thanks for your words!! Would love to see/hear your art!! 🙂

  16. makingup3000 says:

    I like the black and white better too. It looks more moody. Great post.

  17. tzeze says:

    The black n white pictures look so so so gud!!!!

  18. Addison says:

    I love the photos, great job. How great of a feeling is it when you wake up every morning looking forward to go to work. Always do what you love.

  19. feodoraslane says:

    what a lovely insite into daring to live you dream,good luck with all your endeavour’s

  20. Meg says:

    Stumbled across your blog from WordPress’s main page and was super inspired by this:”I followed my own motto and a sentence I always have in my head (‘your life is yours to create’) and I jumped to the abysm of the uncertain life. Life is uncertain no matter what you do. And I DO know I want to fill it and write it with light.” Thank you for putting this out there!

    • Emma Espejo says:

      Thanks, Meg… so much.
      Your words, together with all the comments received, moved me. I’m so happy my lines inspired you, hope they help you to get wherever you want to get. 🙂
      keep the inspiration! ^_^

  21. Evie Garone says:

    Congrats on following your muse! I love the first picture the BEST!!!

  22. Fabulous photos. I love the b/w ones the best. Your a natural. Good luck on your adventure. 🙂

  23. Have to admit, I loved the black and white photos as well. Good luck in your new career.

  24. what a coincidence that your post got pressed the same day i had an arguement with my mother on being a photographer. I Wanna grow up to be a photographer too and she won’t let me be anything related to the world of arts. I know she’s protecting me from hurting myself in the future, cuz where live, photographers rarely get to make a standard living but i really like it. I like your post. And i’m heavily inspired….i just wish my mom could understand

    • Emma Espejo says:

      I think things happen because they have to, although I’m not sure where they lead you or what is going to be the “end”.
      I tell you, all those arguments are never going to get to an end. You just need to find what it is that you truly want to do with your life, like the deepest dream, the ONE and ONLY thing you want to do in your life and focus your energy in that. I visited your blog and saw all your aspirations, most of them artistic, which is great, but differing from one another. Live life, experience and you’ll find the correct way and no matter what others tell you, if you’re good and you play your cards well you’ll be able to do a living out of that. Until then, well… I guess you’ll have to continue with a “secure” life but don’t let it fade your spirit and hope. You’re young, I spent years feeling the same you wrote. Practice and do all you can to learn how to be better and better… always learning.
      Wish you all the best in your path!!

  25. Genevieve says:

    I like your motto and pictures. Good luck to you!

  26. wrongschooled says:

    So I don’t know how to press “like” on this but I like it. Love it actually. Good luck 😉

  27. I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    I am about enrolling for two different photography workshops this month and I am excited at the new learning opportunities this will open up to me. I may not become a full time photographer like you, but I’m sure going to find the art very useful in my travel writing and other types of writing I choose to do, especially for my blog.

    Thanks again for sharing from your learning experience and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  28. don’t look back ^_^


  29. Very magnificent images, very well done.

  30. Paul Marks says:

    Great pictures! I randomly came onto your page from the wordpress main page, and I enjoyed the visit!

  31. Ascentive says:

    Wonderful pictures I love the character of the first picture, your subjects look comfortable too which is a good thing.

  32. anonnickus says:

    Wonderful pics. The composition is flawless. The texture, depth and layering is superb. The subjects responded very well to your stage direction. I can see a story in each face and pose. If you accomplished these results in any less than 2000 frames you have a great talent and an exquisite eye. Great work and good luck.

    • Emma Espejo says:

      Thank you very much for your words. I was aware all the time of the effect I wanted to achieve and for me it’s very important to get a “feeling”… We ended having so much fun which helped a lot to create a nice atmosphere. Hope I’ll keep improving!! Thanks for your visit and comment!

  33. Jay says:

    Good luck, Emma — your photos on flickr show your love of light. I hope your chosen “work” feels more like “play” the longer you do it.

  34. barefinesse says:

    Good luck! I’m going to follow your blog since It is refreshing and inspiring 🙂

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  36. whatsaysyou says:

    Great post and keep it up 🙂

  37. Doug Ford says:

    “Daring and practising,” that’s a fine way to put the exercise so many of recognize. I wish you well in your continued dare.

    Congratulations on your Freshly Pressed selection.

  38. Owen Allen says:

    The photos are great, as your aspiration. Compared in this way I can see why b&w is sometimes preferred. While colour gives the more ‘real’ look to the photo, the b&w provides something more metaphorical, perhaps because it looks less ‘real’ and more abstract.

  39. Photography is a difficult field to make a living in but you obviously have talent. I like your credo: your life is yours to create. Best of luck.

  40. Pollyanna says:

    Hi – I love how crisp the figures are and the symmetry of the shots. Doing what you love and hanging out in the uncertainty is as much a skill as learning photography. The longer you practice, the better you get. Stay with what you love. x

  41. SWK says:

    Great photos! It’s always scary doing a leap of faith like that… I am certain you will be successful.

  42. Rickstar says:

    Quick question, how come there is such a low depth of field on the color picture?

  43. Love your post! I especially like the authenticity I sense in you. It is refreshing and wonderful. I love music, words and pictures and unexpected combinations and mixtures of all three. Good luck to you in your photography career. You definitely have the talent!

  44. NomadSage says:

    Me encanta eso. Hace dos meses, dicidí dedicarme más para escribir. Ya estudio en uni pero hoy trato también de hacer mi propio camino sobre un mundo global con palabras cargando con ideas.

  45. Alan King says:

    “I jumped to the abysm of the uncertain life. Life is uncertain no matter what you do. And I DO know I want to fill it and write it with light.”

    As a writer, I can definitely feel that quote. And the “light”. For me, that’s the insight I hope my my readers leave with after reading my work. Thank you Emma for your light!

    • Emma Espejo says:

      thank YOU for your words!! We write the world with different ink but what fill us is all the feelings around. Hope you the best luck for your career as a writer, I’d love to read your work!! 🙂

  46. llh3685123 says:

    So what really matters is getting better and practice. Agree with !
    Rosetta stone</

  47. Hope your venture goes well.

  48. JennaMarie Photography says:

    It’s refreshing to see someone else create and build their business after Wanting it and having it become their reality – I am “starting out” {have been for over a year now} but its become my obsession and i eat, live and breathe photography now. Thank you for the inspiration to keep going and learn everything I can! You have a new loyal follower 🙂

    Hope You Follow Me Too!

  49. A. Irvin says:

    “Your life is yours to create”

    I really like this motto. I’m transitioning into a new career as well. These are the kinds of thoughts that I repeat to myself to keep moving in a positive direction 🙂

    • Emma Espejo says:

      keep repeating them, it’s very important. I’m starting to be aware of the big step and thinking “what have you done, Emma?” but we must keep thinking that. Good luck in your new career! 😉

  50. A. Irvin says:

    Also, beautiful photography!

  51. newauthoronamazon says:

    When you choose a career that is in sync with your passion…what you love doing….the time will pass fast and it will never seem like work. Loved your pictures….I understood it as a group of friends but all individuals…different in their own way. Was I right ?

    • Emma Espejo says:

      thanks for your words, I can see you more or less saw my point. It’s clearly one of the issues I like to treat in my pictures and writings: the individual. So although they are together, being a group, they keep being four different people and personalities. I’m so glad you saw that!!

  52. Good luck with your new business. I hope someday to be able to truly devote myself to what I love.

  53. kripalika says:

    This inspired me. I also agree with your motto, “your life is yours to create”. We decide on our ownthus making us Officer-in-Charge. I have just started my hobby with photography a passion same as yours. This has been A Childhood Dream – http://kripalika.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/a-childhood-dream/. I guess, I also have to learn more to succeed. Thanks!

  54. Marissa Jean says:

    That is so AWESOME. I love that you decided to do something and stuck to it. I have always wanted to get into photography myself 🙂

  55. kripalika says:

    This inspired me. I also agree with your motto, “your life is yours to create”. We decide on our ownthus making us Officer-in-Charge. I have just started my hobby with photography a passion same as yours. This has been A Childhood Dream – http://wp.me/p1c54I-N. I guess, I also have to learn more to succeed. Thanks!

  56. lifexistence says:

    I’m in love with your post, haha! I think it’s great you decided to become a full-time photographer, and are clear on what and how you would like to photograph.
    I hope to become a full-time photographer too someday. Well, I wish the both of us good luck!

  57. nicafeliz says:

    I liked the line “your life is yours to create”. been at the tieme in the same position, with design trying to live at of it, in a blind way. Esperando que la improvisación atrape la felicidad que mueve mis pies. I hope that this joy of doing what you like to do, stays still for the days to come.

    Best regards, and good luck!

  58. jollof says:

    Great job on the photos, Emma. I like them all but in this order #1, #3 and #2 (Black and white rocks!) I have to admit, before I read the post I looked at the pictures and thought, ‘Is this an upcoming music band?’ The first photo especially looks like an album cover – unique, assymetric and very relaxed (My mum could use some lessons in looking calm, most of her photos look like she’s standing in front of a firing squad). Thanks for the inspiration. You could also keep these journals and do a ‘how-to’ type of photography book – you never know who might want to read it 😀

    • Emma Espejo says:

      Thanks for your words!! I thought it would be interesting to keep with these journals as you called it so wrote the “to be continued” today about this photo shoot. Hope you enjoy it and hope to see you around!!! 🙂

  59. You all looked like the Cullens from Twilight. Nevertheless, those black-and-white stuffs were really good. Enjoy making more beautiful pictures and don’t forget to share it someday 🙂

  60. Good for you Emma! So many people dream of “chucking it all in” and devoting their time to what they really love. You are an inspiration!

  61. dianeee says:

    Very nice photos 🙂

  62. Alberto says:

    I know its hard to start out with something new. I hope the best of luck to you.
    The pictures look great. I really enjoyed the black and white ones the bests. It might be that it gave it another type of depth that is lost with the color pictures. But the colors look great too. Keep it up.

  63. Congratulations on getting freshly pressed Emma and I wish you all the very best in your pursuits in becoming a professional photographer. I really love your header picture of the cobblestone streets. I am hoping that I too, one day, will have the courage to make the decision that you have made in becoming a full-time artist.

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  65. Reggie says:

    Great photographs, Emma – I particularly like the two black-and-white ones – and a lovely, well-written and articulate post. Looking forward to more portraits of your friends – if you take such nice pics, I’m sure they will gladly model for you while you build up a portfolio and get in loads of practice with camera settings etc.

    As you point out, it takes a lot of courage to take the plunge to change an interesting hobby into a full-time career. From what I’ve seen so far on your blog, you are very talented both as a photographer and as a writer, so I’m sure you’ll succeed.

    Congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed, and best of luck and success with your career as a photographer.

  66. Mark says:

    Love the first shot, but the others two have more balance

  67. richannkur says:

    lovely pictures…

  68. AnastasiaVS says:

    Thank you for sharing!

  69. great job, no day is the same i expect. wicked pictures!

  70. vegasmike433 says:

    Well, I must say I have been around Collectible Photography most of my life. These are the works that would be exhibited at the ICP in New York, or auctioned at Sotheby’s.

    At one point. myself and my partners were preparing to finish the entire photographic folios of Edward S. Curtis. He was sponsored by J. Pierepont Morgan and Theodore Roosevelt, to photograph the Native American Tribes of the Far West United States, at the turn of the 19th into the 20th Century. AS it happened, we had come to find the plates remaining from the work Curtis had done in the Basement of a Bookstore in Boston. They were stored there by Curtis’ heirs, and it was athe find of a Lifetime. WE endeavored to complete the Folios, in the exact way that Curtis had been using when he was printing his photos, in Gold and Silver tone, and in Folios of which he had finished approximately half of the 500 Editions he intended to publish.

    In any case, we were bought out for a ridiculous price, before the project could be launch under our direction. Search Edward S. Curtis, and you will see the story unfolds.

    In my very humble opinion, the photographs that you have posted above are very well done, particularly in the way you have configured your subjects, the way they are set within the piece.

    There is no doubt in my mind that you are going to reach levels of achievement in your chosen field, that will far exceed anything you might even imagine at this point.

    You have the natural eye, and talent/inteligence. All you need is to continue to improve your mastery of the technical. Artistic and technique will blend seemlessly.

    Good Luck and Good Health, With Love, Wealth , and Happiness. And Limitless Time to Enjoy it.


    Michael P. Whelan

    • Emma Espejo says:

      Thank you very much for your words. They inspire me to work harder and get as far as I can. Dream big!

      And thanks for sharing the story, I will definitely do some research about it! pity you got out of the project but it sound like a very interesting and rewarding one, doing something that important in culture and history.

      Enjoy a beautiful day!

  71. leadinglight says:

    Good on you for following your dreams. It’s what we all should do but don’t.

  72. I LOVE this. this post has made my day, its really great seeing someone doing what they want to do. even if i cant, my whole life is the arts, and one of my loves is photography and street art, but my friend is already a photographer and on flikr and i feel like if i go on there and put up some of my stuff, shell feel like im invading her territory or copying her. any advice..?

    • Emma Espejo says:

      hmmm… it’s no one’s territory! Marta started in photography months after I did and she’s become a great photographer now, I’m so proud of her development as a photographer, she’s become really good and specialized in her field, Nature. I’m a portrait photographer so we share the same passion and also see the world differently which enriches our views.
      We were both friends before that and both became photographers. And now we have many projects together. That shoudln’t be a problem! you can share your passion with a friend!! It’s a great feeling! 🙂

    • Marta Favro says:

      I definitely agree with Emma. Don’t be put off just because your friend is already into photography. I can perfectly understand how you are feeling because at the beginning of my journey as a photographer I was a bit intimidated by Emma’s work. The most important thing is to find your own voice and style, to tell your stories and your vision through your photographs. Just grab your camera and practice and practice and practice, and most of all enjoy what you’re doing.
      One last thing: if you think that your friend may feel “invaded” or copied, talk to her and explain your ideas and propositions. Who knows, maybe a collaboration will start! 🙂

  73. olderbudd says:

    You should spend some time to appreciate and understand why the first picture works so much better than the other two. It’s like seeing two differnet photographers. Great potential, great daring.

    • Emma Espejo says:

      I think I can understand why… it’s my favourite. I’m a black&white photographer so I really like that one. The colour one is… colours, which I’m still working on… and regarding the other one… I was having some problems with light, one of the problems I had to face, the light and place wasn’t perfect but still, I’m happy with the result.

  74. very looking photos.

  75. ournote2self says:

    Beautiful pictures! Keep up the good work!

  76. hearttypat says:

    loving your job – you’re a lucky one!

  77. Richard says:

    Nice shots! Keep at it! If you love what you’re “job”, you’ll never “work” another day in your life.

  78. Soundview says:

    It sounds like you’ve got a lot of passion for your pursuit. That’s a big secret to mastering an art form. We summarized a business book called “Talent is Overrated.” It talks about the difference between practice and deliberate practice, which is the author’s term for the type of work that makes people incredibly successful. Stop by our blog and check it out!

  79. wilbotan says:

    beautifully framed photographs, and a great story behind them. I wish I had your courage!

  80. I grew up with a father who always reinforced the notion that “you create your own destiny,” so I can totally relate to “your life is yours to create.”
    I find myself learning continuously with my new business as well, it’s refreshing and something to call my own.
    Congratulations on your new endeavour!

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  82. stylistnc says:

    It’s great that you can do something that you love to do. I love photography as a hobby and wish I had more time to do it. Great post.

  83. Got inspired by your Blog! Im just starting out with photography! Keep snapping and blogging!
    Cheers from the Philippines.


  84. kareem says:

    Lovely pics 🙂

  85. Hi Emma, great post and fantastic images. I’m a full time photographer in the UK but am considering relocating to the south of spain (near Granada) in the next couple of years. Any suggestions for the best way to go about setting up out there would be amazing! Good luck with your venture. This was a really inspirational post!

  86. ciglthesigil says:

    Great Post, I actually posted your statement, “Life is uncertain no matter what you do. And I DO know I want to fill it and write it with light.” 🙂

  87. ciglthesigil says:

    Great Post! I actually posted your statement, “Life is uncertain no matter what you do. And I DO know I want to fill it and write it with light.” 🙂

  88. I really like the way you have everybody positioned in the first photograph. And good luck on the business side of things. That’s the part I have to build on to be honest.

  89. iam{JIDE} says:

    Great Photos…..
    You should come to London…..I would love to to work with you on some concepts. Have you been doing this long? The first picture definitely stands out as mentioned by olderbudd.

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