“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
I had a great experience with this last week. A friend of mine needed some food shots for a photography class that she’s teaching (p.s. if you’re interested in taking an online photography class, Candice’s classes are the best… ever … period!), and she asked me to help her with some food. In exchange for the food I got to watch her work, and she’s giving me some of the shots to use here. Wait until you see these pictures… she makes my food look like it belongs in a magazine!
Anyway, back to watching Candice work. Candice is a professional photographer. She used to be an editor at Creating Keepsakes, she has taught classes for Canon, not to mention her amazing skills behind the camera (like here and here). I have taken all of Candice’s classes, plus a few from other teachers, and I usually measure the quality of the images by whether I can get them posted in Tastespotting (not the best measure, but it works for me!). When I’m taking food pictures, I don’t always have a lot of time, and I don’t necessarily put as much thought into it as I should.
I had always assumed when Candice took pictures, that her innate creative talent let her take a few shots very quickly and then she was done. She was magic, and her pictures were just perfect! When she came over the other day to take pictures, I learned that one of the reasons she’s so good, is because she works really hard. I think that I had 6 dishes prepared, and I’m pretty sure she was here for almost three hours. She was setting up props, changing camera angles, and moving things around.
I’m not trying to say that if I start preparing better that my pictures will be as good as Candice’s, but I was sort of giving myself a pass, and I think that I need to be making a better effort.
Am I the only one who maybe doesn’t try their hardest at something, because if I fail giving a half effort than I haven’t really tried and haven’t really failed; but if I fail after trying my hardest, then I’ve really sort of put myself out there? Does that make sense?
So, I think I need to come up with a new goal of not only bringing you guys great recipes, but also trying my best to make the recipes look good so that you’ll really want to make them!
I know today is a bit off topic, but I’ll be back tomorrow with a recipe, and on Friday I’m having a fun little party that I’ll write about next week. Good things are happening!!