Humble Beginnings; Before and After Some Tough Lessons

We've all been bad at stuff. 

We've all been less than stellar at something that we desperately wanted to be better at, and we have all longed for it to be an instantaneous overnight transition. I wish that it was that easy to become better at things.  If that were the case, I would be the best at kayaking across all of the world and the greatest bubble gum bubble blower the planet has ever seen. 

Alas, it takes dedication, time, practice, and mistakes - yes, mistakes - to learn what you actually want and how you want to get there. 

For me, the thing I have always wanted to be awesome at is photography. To this day, I know there are at least 42 things that I can do to improve, but it is also important to look back and see how far you have progressed. Without reflection there can be no comparison... Not only that, but it should be YOU you compare yourself to. I think it is extremely helpful to look to others that are skilled in an area to see what makes them great. In terms of growth, I feel that it is essential that you are your own measuring stick. In this way, you are most relevantly and accurately logging how much you have changed, developed, and progressed.

When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like that: “Have ya paid your dues, Jack?” “Yessir, the check is in the mail.”
— Jack Burton, 'Big Trouble in Little China'

This is tough for me to do. I am going to post some of my very first photos, right next to a similar photo that I feel shows how I have grown in an area. I invite you all to leave your thoughts in the comments below; were the first photos better? Am I trying too hard to make things look better? I appreciate any words you've got and I don't get offended easily. ...That is not an invitation to try and offend me, though. ;) 


Right off the bat, things that come to mind:

  • I am not afraid to get closer to my subjects; whether that be a light, a face, or a mountain.
  • Overall the "after" photos are brighter (except for one).
  • Things seem much more composed and thought out

It takes a lot to admit that you could be better at something, but that is where improvement begins. We have to be willing to say "I am not as good at this as I could be". Once that happens, I think that growth happens more quickly than we would want it to. Remember to ask for help, and remember that there are people in your life that want you to develop and level up your skills. If I can help, please tell me so I can assist in getting you to your next level as so many have done for me. :)