Focus On The Important, Capture The Good Times, And Develop From The Negatives
Lessons from great photographers you can transfer to business, writing, or living
When you are working on your business, do you look at other subject areas for inspiration and ideas?
I do this all the time and I get so many ideas and input that I can highly recommend you do it.
When I am thinking about business ideas or strategies, marketing or event planning I find inspiration in books, articles, websites, news, conversations that are about design, design thinking, philosophy, biographies, culture, art,
One subject area that doesn’t cease to amaze and inspire me when thinking about life and work is photography and the thoughts and wisdom of well-known photographers.
No offense, but I haven’t heard such interesting and fascinating takes on many aspects of life from insurance brokers or realtors than I have from photographers.
If Things Don’t Turn Out, Just Take Another Shot
There are vast volumes of input from interacting with photographers that I can transfer to areas such as business development, marketing, productivity, self-awareness, growth mindset, communication, and leadership.
“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t turn out, just take another shot.” – Unknown.
Here are some insights and lessons I learned by listening to photographers which you can use and transfer to your area of specialty.
To Find Solutions, Change Your Perspective
“There is no one solution to all problems. It’s a problem itself that can lead to the solution.” – Jay Maisel
Sometimes the problem at hand isn’t so wild if you try to change your way of looking at it. Change your perspective. It can turn out that the solution is right in front of you. The problem can be the solution.
Look at your problem again. From a different perspective. The solution might suddenly reveal itself in the problem.
“Everyone has a point of view. Some people call it style, but what we're really talking about is the guts of a photograph. When you trust your point of view, that's when you start taking pictures.” – Annie Leibovitz
Look Forward And Don’t Hang On To The Past
“You have to let the past successes go, or you’ll never be able to see anew.” – Jay Maisel
Learning your lessons from past circumstances, situations, failures, and successes are good. But then you have to let go and move forward. Don’t have past experiences weigh you down and block the view of the future.
“You have to learn not only from your failures. You must also learn from your successes.” – Jay Maisel
Always Be Interested, Open, And Curious
“You can’t just turn on when something happens, you have to be turned on all the time. Then things happen.” – Jay Maisel
It is not easy to pay attention all the time to what is happening around you or to what is happening inside. You also have to select as we have too many stimulations and distractions.
But if you do pay attention and are aware of what you turn your attention to you perceive opportunities and are able to connect the dots.
“The whole world is there for you. Gifts will happen, but only if you are patient with life itself, the shooting process, and your own limitations.” – Jay Maisel
Knowing What You Stand For
I really like this thought by the famous fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh. This can be applied to every other field and to life in general.
“The photographer, even in fashion and portraiture, has to have a standpoint. It's important to know what you stand for, no? Most people just take pictures, but they stand for nothing. They follow trends and don't know why.” - Peter Lindbergh
Do you know what you stand for? What is it you believe in, what you are against? Do you just follow trends and the newest shiny thing?
Do you walk through life with a mindset that is reflected in your body of work and your way of working?
Think about what you like, what you dislike, what is your nature and character and which things and perspectives in life you appreciate or refuse.
Don’t Take Life For Granted
“I am not a believer. But if there is one power superior that can guide us, for me, it is evolution. How we came to be what we are today – what a culmination of experience we have. There is a big power there.” – Sebastião Salgado
Famous photographer Salgado photographed and documented, always in black and white, the hardship of workers and the suffering of humans in the world.
Being exhausted, sick, and burnt out from this work he tried to find a new perspective on life. He traveled and photographed for the past decade the nature and beauty we have left in the world. His finished project is called Genesis.
He rediscovered the world and himself again. He healed inside, got his health back, and managed to get a new outlook on life. Capturing the misery that made him slowly sick over time he forced himself to find the positive things we have on this planet. He went and looked for them, opened his mind and eyes, and captured and shared it with the world.
“Life is about staying focused. Not simply focusing an image in the viewfinder of a camera, but keeping your eye, your soul, your mind, all in focus in the viewfinder of the life you choose to lead.” – David Burnett, Photojournalist
My Life at the Limit by Reinhold Messner
Reinhold Messner is often called the greatest living mountaineer. He was the first man to summit Everest without supplementary oxygen, the first to solo Everest, and the first to climb all fourteen of the world's 8,000-meter peaks. From his lifelong mountain climbing, he shares the lessons and insights he gained on life, goal setting, project planning, and mindset with business managers, entrepreneurs, and anyone who is interested to learn those who pushed their limits.