Daily Archives March 27, 2019

Photo by Jerry Ghionis

Then Came Gloria

The better a photographer you become, the more challenging it becomes to be a better photographer! It’s a cruel reality. We struggle and hope as we learn the basics of exposure, lens, f/stop, etc. that with that knowledge, we can then relax and play. It’s hard to imagine that photography will only be more challenging once we pass those hurdles.

On the bright side, the rewards become greater and the adventures sweeter when the photographic process settles in, and you look at the challenges to not only become better, but also make photography your own. It could be summed up as: style. Because with that style you become the visual storyteller whose photographs can change the world.

This realization and challenge hit me hard and early in my career because, along with everything photographic, I threw being in the photographic business into the mix (just because it wasn’t difficult enough). That actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise though as our survival depended on me pushing through these hurdles. I need that life or death struggle!

Human nature is such that walls tend to slow us down, if not stop us. Photography for most is a hobby, and with the real honest and needed desire to keep it fun (which is essential), often frustration settles in when we hit that wall and the fun fades. Sadly, all too often I’ve seen too many photographers on this path, or take this path, and real talent goes unknown as their passion disappears. 

How do we achieve our goals of being better photographers (because there is no end to this race)? Many believe it’s by buying more and better gear (I wish it was that easy). The reason it gets more challenging the better you become is because the investment you need to make is in yourself!

While they are photographically based, pushing yourself to make the finished photograph in the viewfinder when you go click is a b*tch! Throwing away all crutches and embracing failure hurts! And making photographs that reach out and grab heartstrings rather than likes at times is really lonely. Giving yourself a reason to take that next step in getting better and keeping your passion alive is to go beyond the single click. It’s a “simple” formula I’ve used for the last three decades, editorial, and it’s turned out pretty well. Let me explain it to you by introducing you to Gloria.

There has to be a start, right?

It all began with my dear friend, Kathy Porupski. We met years ago through the intimate community that was NAPP and is now KelbyOne. Always a dear friend and supporter and fellow photographer (and friend to my entire family), we did everything from photographing a Black Skimmer colony to model shoots together. I helped her when I could, and she always returned that in spades.

Many years ago, after I dove deep into aviation photography, she told me about a friend of hers whose husband had planes and sent me a picture. Me being me, I thanked her but did nothing about it (you know, that mental wall, they were in Florida and I’m in California). Fast forward the clock a couple of years.