The Secret In My Photography Sauce
I love it when people write to me and ask me where to start, how I got started and which camera should they use?
Like many of you out there I started with an inkling, a whiff of an idea I might like photography and took one step at a time. Each decision led me to the next step and to the next learning.
But my big secret happened one day in a darkroom in Florence when I had wrestled my camera all day, I believed I had taken some photos I thought I liked and then watched them in the quiet developing just with a little red light to illuminate them.
Something bigger than the chemical reaction I was watching happened, it was a mixture of wonder, magic and love. And it that moment as a face appeared in the developer the universe gave me a gift of love and passion for photography and creativity.
From that day forward I have woven love into everything I do, I make decisions based on passion and love and most things I do in business I would be doing even if I didn’t get paid.
All the workshops, the magazines, the books and the prints I have done over the years I have done because I was addicted. Like Quincy Jones said “The people who make it to the top – whether they’re musicians, or great chefs, or corporate honchos – are addicted to their calling … [they] are the ones who’d be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren’t being paid.”
When you do what you love you put your heart and soul into it, you love Mondays as much as Fridays because you just can’t wait to start and do it all over again. In the act of creation there is nothing old or stale, every week is a new opportunity to discover the world, try things out and see what else you have in your tank.
This love and passion led me to create workshops that ‘I want to go on’ and hope that there are enough like-minded folks out there who would like to join me, I take the pictures that ‘I want to take’ and hope the magazines and publishers get what I do and like them too.
Each fork in my road I have asked myself ‘what makes me happy, what excites me’ and then I follow that and once again put my heart and soul into.
If you are sitting reading this and feel ‘nah’ about what you do, ask yourself how could you do it better, what ingredient could you add to it to stoke your fire and at the same time stoke others!
Many parents are concerned for their children taking a path into creativity as a career but I want to lay their qualms at rest. Would I take back riding along the Amalfi Coast at dawn with someone I love, would I take back holding a book I created in my hands with tears of joy streaming down my face, would I take back the joy of finding a ‘decisive moment’ and creating something I didn’t believe I could do, would I take back the chance to learn from masters such as art directors, fashion editors, stylists and fellow photographers and fill up not only my creative tank but my self-esteem. Would I take back the chance to see and meet the world? Would I take back the chance to stand in my bones and own them? The answer to all of them is no.
I attribute the person I am today to that moment back in the darkroom when I was struck by a lightning bolt of love. The lightning bolt gave me the courage, the strength, the love, the joy and the wonder to not only dig into my creativity but to live the best years of my life.
So my dear friends if you are looking for your secret sauce in life, photography or any other creative field instead of looking outwards look inwards. That’s where your secret sauce is. Ask yourself ‘what would you be doing even if you didn’t get paid?’
Sending big love