I share therefore I am.

I was talking about photography with a colleague of mine at work a few days ago. She was asking for some advice on which DSLR camera to buy and if I knew any courses that might help her learn more and improve her photography. We went on talking for a while and mainly discussed about spending your money for something you were not so sure about – in her case photo classes. She was invited to join a course by some of her friends, but as she already knows the basic , she thought those classes might not be so useful.

So this lead me to think about whether photographic classes are really useful or not. If I think of me, I’ve never took any classes. When I bought my first DSLR camera I immediately started to experiment and take tons of pictures until I understood how to make it work, and then until I found my personal voice and style. Blogs, photo sharing websites, tips from friends, comments and critics from communities have been – and still are – a great source for improvement and inspiration.

Are photographic classes or workshops useless? I don’t think so at all. I would love to take part to some amazing workshops out there, and I will surely do one day (let me save money for the trip and the costs…). No only you learn more about a specific field of interest, but you also have the chance to connect with other photographer who are there for your same reason, and this makes sharing and discussions a lot easier.

I do think that in this digital era it is very much simpler to learn. Whether it is photography or anything that you are passionate about, you have the opportunities to discovers amazing worlds with just one click and connect with millions of people out there who are ready to help, suggest and teach you.

Internet is a challenge for all of us: it’s making us redefine old concepts, it’s forcing us to think differently. We still don’t know all the possibilities we will have, we are just at the beginning of a total different way of living and working. The key is sharing. Don’t be afraid to share your work and ideas, to help people grow and learn. Don’t think they are rivals and competitors, but work to find your own style and be unique. Surely copyright is important and recognizing the value of a work is vital, but don’t let fear prevail. Nobody can really steal your ideas or your style, you are unique and so is your work.

Helping each other is the greatest gift we could make to photography. And to us as human beings.

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About Marta Favro

Full time employee in an online marketing agency, photographer and traveller (not necessary in that order). Graduated in English Literature. Passionate of long walks in the Nature, cats, books, music.
This entry was posted in About Photography, Personal thoughts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to I share therefore I am.

  1. The digital revolution really changed how I view myself as a photographer. I like being able to frame a shot on a screen rather than through a viewfinder and its really wonderful to preview how a shot turned out before developing film. I always had a hard time judging distance and focusing, so digital cameras really allow me to enjoy photography much more than I did before.

    You make a very interesting point about workshops and I agree. Photography, like many other realms of creativity is best learned through experience and experimentation. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment, but I learn best through making mistakes and happy accidents. 🙂

    • Marta Favro says:

      Digital really changed the way of approaching photography and it has certainly helped to make it more affordable. Its quality is also improving a lot and we can almost equal the quality of film.

      I agree with you, direct experience and tons of mistakes are the best way to learn. You should never be afraid of doing something wrong, as everything is useful and in the end you might even discover that the result is not so bad at all. Love your definition of “happy accidents”. 🙂

      Thanks a lot for sharing your comment! 😉

  2. I think the importance of a workshop or class is to turn you towards a new technique or idea that helps your art to grow. Love your picture, I feel as if I have seen that scene several times in my old Chicago neighborhood.

    • Marta Favro says:

      And that’s why I think that you must choose carefully the workshop or class you want to attend in order to take the best from it and not waste both money and time. Workshops and classes are extremely important as learning by yourself in order to develop your own style and voice.

      Thank you very much for stopping by and leave your thought.

  3. Dear Marta,

    that´s a good one. I like your points of view. And they made me think.

    Last year I dumped being a photographer after 10 years cause I lost the love for it. The daily business with clients thinking photography is worth nothing and should be for free killed the desire to take my camera and go for it. I was always looking for what´s behind the obvious. That was my passion. To find the behind (a person, a situation, landscape…) and let it shine.

    But people asked for other things. Only the obvious, the surface and quick quick. I hated that and finally let go.

    After reading your words I asked myself if there would have been a different way if I would have talked to other photographers. Their experience. Their opinions. Maybe there are ways out there I don´t know nothing about which would make it possible for me to get that love back. I never did so cause other photographers were always just competitioner to me. I never really saw it your way. But I will now. And I thank you a lot for giving these new ways of thinking to me. I appreciate that for sure.

    Be save

    Allyson

    • Marta Favro says:

      Dear Allyson,

      I’m really sorry to read that you lost your love for photography, but I can easily understand how you felt after 10 years of hard work and getting nothing in return (and with this nothing I mean people really seeing and appreciating your efforts and your creations).

      Unfortunately the situation you described happens more often than photographers would like to. We all work for a salary, that’s for sure, but we also work because there’s a spark inside our souls that makes us look for more, forcing us to go beyond the surface of things and dig down deep. It’s frustrating and discouraging, it’s a daily struggle between our aspirations and the client demands.

      What I can tell you from my little experience is that talking with other photographers (and in particular with photographers you admire) and with other people who share your passion or who truly appreciate the value of what you do can help you breathe fresh air, uplift your spirit and bring new ideas. And who knows, maybe new collaborations could even start. There are many ways of sharing, and I believe that seeing each other only as competitors ruins both photography and ourselves as human beings on the long run.

      I’m glad to have helped you see a different way, and do really hope that you can find the love for photogprahy again. Maybe it will take time, but I’m sure that as every true love it can’t end but only transform.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, and feel free to get in touch whenever you feel like to.

  4. Pingback: Spread the… knowledge… Spread the… image. | Thelonelywalkers' Blog

  5. filispines says:

    Me ha gustado eso de que nadie puede robar las ideas, ni el estilo. Son cuestiones muy propias, pueden apropiarse de nuestro producto, pero nunca de la capacidad para crear uno nuevo.

    • Marta Favro says:

      Exacto, la ideas pueden ser robadas pero al final los productos serán una imitación y nunca tendrán la misma cualidad ni el mismo estilo. Hay que trabajar duro para desarrollar un producto que sea “nuestro”, que cuente nuestra historia y comunique nuestro mensaje.

  6. niceartlife says:

    Nice article, I sometimes have the same doubts you write about. But fortunately there are always people and friends who can help you and guide you to the right directions and choices.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • Marta Favro says:

      Friends are the best allies ever, and so are people willing to help each other to grow and improve. Ideas and great works always come after a long journey of sharing and talking.
      Thanks to you for stopping by and leaving your comment!

  7. paulaturner says:

    I am intimidated taking courses because I seem to have a mental block for learning terms about my camera and how it works. I read books about photography, specifically by Tom Ang, because then when he makes reference to a technical term, I just look it up and then I can learn the technique he is referring to. I also am too easily intimidated by the work of others, so I simply look at photos online and then, when possible, look at what settings they used and try to duplicate them in my work.

    • Marta Favro says:

      It’s great to read books, look at photos online, and then try do do the same. But try to dive into the water and start swimming. I mean, do not limit your learning to books and online resources, but take some courage and go to a course or try to talk to other people who are interested in photography. Don’t be ashamed to ask questions, even if you think they are silly ones, because in fact they are not. Every photographer (even the most famous ones) started from knowing nothing at all about technique, so don’t feel different, inadequate or even inferior. I was and still am intimidated sometimes when taking classes, and that’s because I do not feel confident with my work and think it’s not good enough, and I do not know as much about the techniques as other photographers. But then I think that I am learning and that sharing experiences and talking to other photographers is the best way to grow and improve.

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