Growing Photographically

Obviously, the levels of engagement in photography, the scale of drive to excel is different from one to another. In our workshops, we seldom get to track one’s progress long term; but of those we have been in contact with, one thing stands out.

Those that have progressed have persisted, not necessarily straining, but have stayed with it.

Case in point…

When we were having monthly meetings with our photo group in Florida, in the 1990’s, they were split into two parts. The first part was a review of questions the participants had. The second part and the most popular of the meeting was a group review of images members brought. We would project up to five images, slides in those days, from each and field questions from the group, offer praise for bringing in the images and encouragement. And yes, if appropriate, a suggestion or two on improvement, which ultimately benefited everyone there.

About half way through the eleven years we did this, a weekend event was scheduled in Ft. Meyers, FL by Bill Fortney’s Great American Photography Weekend. Eighty-five people attended from around the country. Each were given a roll of film, which was collected the following day and processed. Fifteen awards were given out for the best of the best in various categories. Out of the 85 participants, the ten from our group collected ten of the fifteen awards. Quiet a high proportion weighing heavily in our groups favor.


The only conclusion that I could draw from this is that group of ten were also primarily in attendance each month throughout the years at out monthly meetings, almost without exception. They persisted regularly and grew their ability to make winning images, attesting to their degree of progress.

In closing, simply, one should not become dismayed by their level of progress. Let time do it’s work. Our job is to simply persist. As we grow, and each will at their own pace, we will have those “ahha” moments. Accept them, and continue to persist.

This morning I viewed a short video which Carol had forwarded to me. Besides being really well done, if you’re feeling a bit like the baby elephant learning to stand up, don’t dismay. Stay the course, and like the little guy, there will be many hands to help you just as these helpful trunks and massive legs. That’s the way it works. Have faith and send in some of your stories so we can share with others…

The video…

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