Friday, February 12, 2010

Words Of Wisdom

I want to share some words of wisdom with you..They were sent to me by one of my mentors in Photography, Rob Provencher..One of my favorite photographers, But what he sent me could also apply to our craft, scrapbooking...Rob is a very wise man...Here is what he said.

Some photographers have the erroneous belief that talent, photographic talent, is an innate, programmed in their DNA, born-with skill set. A 'gift', so to speak.
Truth is, greatness, talent, creative works, and just about all success's are learned behaviors. It doesn't come from DNA but from practice and perseverance honed over decades.
Whether you believe in what I'm saying or not matters not. The good news is, you can grow your skills (talents) through perseverance, hard work and practice.
If you're upset, threathened by what I'm saying and totally disagree, let's duke it out. I wanna hear what you gotta say, 'cuz I'm coming in all guns a blazing in total defense f what I'm saying here.
If anyone tries to discourage you and lead you into believing you must be born with 'the gift', don't for a second listen to any of that utter nonsense.
Photography is a learned skill set. Just like playing music. You get better with time and practice.
Unfortunately, many believe, because of the magical qualities inherent in photography, and the intrinsic 'glamorousness' in being called a photographer, that photography is a sublime, mysterious, noble, rare and sacred gift from the gods. Bullshit.
This creates a load of confusion. To know better gives you an advantage. Let me explain.
I see many photogs and aspiring photogs showing up at events to listen to their fave photog speak. This is all fine and dandy, but if you have the wrong mindset, you won't be maximizing the return on time and money invested when attending photographic workshops and seminars.
Instead, you'll be mesmerized and in awe. The bigger the name, you more the awe level. The big name marquis, celeb speaker will leave you with a sense of amazement, maybe a tad more.
Instead of grabbing and cultivating as many legit strategies and principles that you can borrow and roll into your own photography and photography business, you'll swim into the egotistically driven experience. We tend to do this as humans and photographers, in my opinion, are extra vulnerable.
Sitting at the foot of the guru seems to be enough.
So, the alternative is, go for knowledge. Take notes. Grab ideas and make them your own. Grab inspirations that evolve in your in your mind, and when you get back to your studio, practice. Yes, practice. Too many just think about this, or worse yet, wait until their next paid gig to practice whatever ideas and inspirations visit upon them.
And then they flop. Why? Lack of practice.
I used to, and still do, harp on this over and over when speaking to large groups of photographers. We're no different, not better than any other creative discipline.
When a symphony musician has to learn a piece, they don't show up at rehearsal never having practiced any thing. They must study and practice until their fingers bleed. Or pay hell with maestro.
With musicians, it's obvious. You don't know the piece, it sounds like crap.
In photography, many people/clients/photogs lack judgment or discernment and believe what they see is a great photograph. Until they see something better, and get educated. Therein lies the opportunity to show your clients something better and educate them on quality.

How To Succeed

By Robert Provencher

Would you like to know how to succeed? It's simple really, all you have to do is succeed. Really. Once you succeed you attract more success. It's like magic and very powerful.

Ah, but how do you succeed in the first place you ask? How can you get success if you ain't got none? Okay, that's a fair question and it certainly sounds like a catch-22 doesn't it.

In order to create success out of thin air you must start with a vision, an idea, a goal, a clear mental picture of what it is you see yourself succeeding at. It all starts with your ability to use your IMAGINATION. Einstein believed that IMAGINATION was the most powerful force in the universe. But, you have to use your own imagination first. Combined with desire.

You must convince yourself of this on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis. Without this you are wandering aimlessly.

At your deepest unconscious level you have a success barometer. It tells you how well you will do. It's like a ladder with only so many rungs on it. Everyone has their own unique barometer and we are limited by the possibilities this sets for us.

Why are so many people stuck earning $40,000.00 a year, year after year? It's their internal success barometer. This barometer controls us and if we head for any opportunity or success it will pull us back, drags us down.

So how do we get over any limits our own barometers may have placed on our own destiny? By using our imaginations we can slowly increase the level of our own barometer. It takes work but it will have an effect and when opportunities come your way you will be able to take advantage of them instead of sabotaging them. You must imagine what it will be like to be in that place that you call success. A clear mental picture, remember?

Other ways to work your barometer is by doing the very things that scare you. Fear is paralyzing, if you let it. Or, it will hold within it the seeds of great opportunity for you. It serves no useful purpose other than killing your dreams, or telling you to not put your hand on a red hot stove. Now you don't have to be logical about this, go after any fear. When you confront them you grow. It increases your inner barometer overall.

Seems simple doesn't it? But we choose to stay stuck and let our fears hold us back.

What about talents? You may feel you lack certain skills or pre-dispositions. Or worse yet, you bought into the biggest lie, that you had be "born with" talent or skills. This I am happy to report to you this is one of the biggest lies ever uttered by pompous, never-well-meaning and arrogant misguided souls. It's used by these poor, self-absorbed windbags to try and push you down and hold you back.

Don't buy it for a second.

I will concede that people are born with certain pre-dispositions, such as body types that may be suitable for athletics and if you are born blind you may never take up career as a pilot, but these are the exceptions to the rule. And even so, many people have done incredible feats in spite of serious setbacks.

The idea that you are born a certain way is preposterous. It's a load of crap who's time has come to an end. You can do and be anything you want. If you want it. You get good at something by getting good. It's that simple. It takes work. That's why so many hang their hat on the "I-wasn't-born-with-it excuse".

They're lazy.

Everybody wants to be rich or famous but few are willing to do whatever is necessary to get there. If you want to learn or enhance a new skill start it now, and learn it every day, day after day and you will get good.

And keep learning new things. It's good for the brain. Keeps you young and vibrant. When you learn new things don't give up because it seems hard at first. Every new skill, new passage has the same basic steps it must follow:

* unconscious incompetence, where you suck at it and you don't even know you suck at it.
* conscious competence, where you suck at it but at least you know you suck at it.
* conscious competence, where you are good at it and you know it, you have to make conscious effort to maintain that level of being good at it, and finally.....
* unconscious competence, mastery, where you seem to have that natural talent. It just flows. This is where others will tell you you are born with it. Like as if it was that easy.

Another one of the great, often ignored success principles is that of total responsibility. Always take the position that everything that happens in your life is all your fault. I'm serious on this. This will keep you sharp and in the right mindset, never defaulting to blaming. So what, success seems to happen to others.

On the outside this may certainly seem so, but if we look deeper we will find years of struggle and effort. And always a vision. If you want to succeed you must have your own vision. If you offer up excuses you're being a pessimistic, negative cry baby and nobody likes a cry baby.

If you see success in someone else ask them how they did it, and listen, I mean really listen. There's gold in the answers. Likewise, never take advice from anyone who hasn't been there. Let me finish with a few quotes that I have pasted by my desk. I think they are applicable to my message in this article:

"Most people waste their entire lives trying desperately to "get out of"
or avoid exactly what is required for success and happiness."
Dan Kennedy

"You are what you think."

"The mind is always sharpest when there is a hanging at dawn."

"YCDBSOYA (you can't do business sitting on your ass)"
Dan Kennedy

yours in photography,
Robert Provencher

Thank You Rob for letting me share this with my crafty friends!!!


  1. GREAT "Words of Wisdon", Lisa!
    I do believe that when you get that first well done after continued effort! You are happy and continue to believe you CAN do it!
    Have a Happy Valentine's Day!
    Hugz, Z

  2. This was inspiring! Taming fear and not allowing your own barometer to hold you back. Working, envisioning,imagining, practicing until it flows smoothly. Truly words of wisdom...and I'm working on it! Thanks for sharing these words! It can apply to so much in our lives. :)


Love hearing your beautiful words!!!!