The Secret is Just Discipline and Patience
Plus a new contest for January!
Most of the topics for these weekly posts are the result of me trying to boil down parts of my photography journey into something actionable. I look at inflections points from my past and pull some inspiration that’d be useful for you, the reader. Some topics are broad. Others are very specific. But all of them are based on ideas that I believe a younger, wide-eyed version of myself would find useful.
There’s one topic that I’ve been sitting on for months. One that would make for a poetic way to kick off the second year of the Church & Street. It’s also the something I find myself discussing the most when speaking directly with photographers:
Discipline and patience.
This image was shot in early 2020 on my Fujifilm X-Pro3 with the XF 90mm F2.0 lens. The aperture was set to F4.5, the shutter speed landed at 1/2500, and I’m pretty sure the ISO was locked to 1250 because of the prior night of shooting. Whoops.
This photo is the result of discipline and patience. While staying in a high-rise in Mumbai during my first photo trip to India, I was enamoured by the morning light. How different it was to my home in Toronto. So, I’d wake up and just sit by the window for a few minutes with a camera in my hand. I’d take the occasional photo but it wasn’t until this moment that I felt like I had a story.
This photo went on to change my life. It earned a few awards, landed a couple grants but most of all, helped cement the new journey I was taking. That I could do the things I was hoping to do, should I give this journey two key things: discipline and patience.
Look, the photo here helps to contextualize my point but to be honest, the photo doesn’t matter. What I want you to know is that the answer to most of your questions of about finding success in the photography journey ultimately boils down to adhering to key principles and enduring the challenges that come your way.
Again, discipline and patience.
Reflect on the things that you could and should do as a photographer: study photobooks, attend workshops, develop lighting techniques, re-edit images, create recipes, and of course, practice photography. Sit down, list them all out, and from there, find out how you integrate as much of it into your daily life.
Inch forward each day.
And no, this isn’t some hustle-culture, dude-bro, workaholic lecture on losing sleep and making gains. Don’t think of this as spending every free moment you have devoting yourself to the work. It’s about osmosis. Sometimes it’s just a journal entry. Maybe it’s a random trip to the museum. Whatever it is—be it a few minutes or a few hours—just find ways to regularly do things that put you in the space of a working photographer to keep preparing you.
Prepare you for what? For your next creative obstacle! It’s easy to get distracted about what’s happening or not happening for you. But our attention is better spent on tackling the next creative obstacle. Patience is key. And it’s even more important in this world that’s conditioning us to become impatient.
Relax. Let the work guide you.
Besides, the journey never goes exactly as planned. But if we can stay disciplined to our craft and exercise patience as humans, we will continue to position ourselves to find fulfillment in the journey ahead.
New January Contest!
Each month, I run a contest for the Church & Street Foto Club and try to feature something that I believe people will appreciate.
For January, I’ll be giving away the Moment Ultimate Cinebloom Bundle. It’s a collection of lens diffusion filters that help tame that sharp bite that modern digital cameras tend to have. It’s a really cool piece of gear that I keep with me, especially for client work. And I think you’d find value in them too.
How am I picking the winner? All you have to do is be a member of this community and leave a comment on this post. As with every contest, I’ll be randomly picking one person, confirming they meet the requirements and then contacting them directly before announcing the winner publicly.
Once again, this contest is void where prohibited by law. Good luck!
My thanks to the team at Moment! Not only for this contest but for being the longest supporter of my work online. They’re a lean team of passionate creators that truly believe in supporting other creators on their journey. Whether it’s a new camera, lens, workshop, or just some great articles, visit ShopMoment.com today.
Reader Question: What are some places you’d like to visit and photograph this year?
I’ll look to visit India at least twice this year and continue my documentary work out there. At some point during those trips, I’d like to make a stop in Sri Lanka to start a long-term photo project there. Specifically Jaffna, where most of my family is from.
That’s already a lot but if I could squeeze one more, even for a weekend, I’d love to find a way to visit Mexico City. It’s been on my list for some time and I’m hoping I can find a way to make it happen this year.
The second episode of the Church & Street series is being edited right now. The goal is to have it published for February. It’s something that’s taken quite a bit of time to produce but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. Especially for those of you that wanna see more street photography in action. I’ll let you know when you can expect a premiere date.
Anyway, that’s enough for this week. See ya next time!