Braving the photography bigwigs / by Josh Trudell

Eiffel Tower at Twilight
Eiffel Tower at Twilight

I've got a dream.

Nothing so auspicious as Martin Luther King - it's my little dream that I feed and water as often as I can.

I take/make photographs/photos/pictures/captures. Once in a while, I even get paid for it. My dream - somewhere way off in the distant haze, when I'm not plowing through work/traffic/chores - is to get better at it, and get paid for it more often. If you've ever seen Peter Lik's work - well, that's who I want to be when I grow up.

A short backstory: I took some photography classes in college and was the student newspaper's photo editor for a while. I put the camera down until about four years ago, when I picked up a digital camera and realized I didn't have to take hundreds of dollars in film to the drugstore any longer.

So I started shooting. And re-learning. And learning new things. And growing. And reading more about photography.  And following people such as Scott Bourne on Twitter.

As this has progressed, I've had some good conversations with photographers, and some not-so-good conversations, both online and in person. The not-so-good ones have generally been with the people who have been at it a while - the semi-pros and pros who are frustrated by another newbie with a new toy out trying to be Ansel Adams. (Check out this great exhibit, by the way.)

It goes something like this: "Grumble-grumble-bought-a-DSLR-grumble-set-up-a-site-grumble-grumble-now they're professionals!-grumble-grumble-don't-deserve-their-gear-grumble-grumble..."

Look. I understand the frustration. I do. No one wants to put up with obnoxious newbies. I certainly don't want to be an obnoxious newbie - who wants to be that guy?  Now, not everyone has the temperament or time to mentor, and I understand that too.

But I want to learn and get better, so here I am - asking questions, taking what you think are horribly cliche photos, living the dream.

Once you had a dream too. I just found mine a little later, that's all.