Probably The Best Post I’ve Read About Photography This Year!

If you’ve followed me for any time at all you’ve heard me rave about the photography of Bill Fortney. He’s been kind of a mentor to me over the years and has taught me an awful lot (and I’ve been blessed to have taught some landscape workshops alongside him over the years as well).

A couple of day’s ago Bill wrote what I think it probably the best article I’ve read about photogaphy this year, and definitely one of my top picks ever. I shared his post earlier this week on Google+ and here are some of the comments from readers:

> “I think this may be one of the best photoblog posts I have ever read. It simply speaks volumes.”

> “Wonderful & inspiring article. Gets me back on track as to why I love photography.”

> “You’re right it did made me think about my own photography..  truly wonderful article.”

> “An insightful treatise! Thank you for sharing it with us. I have tried to adhere to the principles mentioned and am inspired by the well written reminder.”

> “Incredibly profound post!!”

> “Thank you to Bill Fortney (re his “Why Bother?” blog post) for this authentic share. ”

> “I happened upon this post by Bill Fortney today and thought I need to share this with all of my fellow photographers out there who may be in the same situation.  …”

> “An excellent post by Bill, now he has a new fan I had not seen his work before”

> “I’m so glad I stopped to read it.”

Bill’s post is called “Why Bother” and I promise you, if you read it you’ll be glad you did  —- it really has the power to change the way you feel about your own photography and why “Why we bother” at all.

Here’s the link. 

[DISCLAIMER: Within his article Bill lists his five favorite photographers, and I about fell over when I saw my name on that list. That is absolutely not why I’m sharing this article (though that would have been enough reason alone for me — wink), but the rest of his article is what really struck a chord with me and I imagine many of you share the same struggles as I do with my photography, and Bill’s article helped me a lot. I absolutely know I don’t deserve to be included with the other four people on his list, but I am humbled, grateful, and at a total loss for words, outside of just saying “Thanks, Bill.”]
  1. Scott, thanks for sharing that.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.  Our local photography club, being rather new, is struggling exactly how Bill describes in his 5 points.  We have folks who are very good but criticize without suggestions.  We have relatively new folks who get frustrated by the lack of help and the feeling of “why bother”, some almost to the point of quitting.  I’ve posted a link to Bill’s blog post on our club’s facebook page with the hope it will spur some discussion and maybe a change the atmosphere to a more welcoming and friendly one. 

    Thanks again to you and Bill.

  2. Scott,

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. It really hit home. I had struggled with the “Why bother” question myself, and knew that photography is too much of a passion to let anything stop me. Also, I’d put you in one of my top 5 favorite photographers as well.


  3. Yes, what a post that is. It’s so simple to follow and love what you do, but it does become difficult or side tracked. I think we all should read it everyday

  4. Really a wonderful post.  Made me realize why I’m into photography.  It gave me a profound appreciation of my own work.  Thanks for the share.

    I’ve shared this with my friends and they too were moved by Bill’s message.

  5. Scott, I’m off subject but have you posted your Backup procedure after you were disappointed with Drobo? If I missed it please send me a link. If not I would really appreciate understanding your backup process.

  6. Thanks for the great article, sometimes it is hard being relatively a newbie in photography not to feel intimidated, compare your work with others and say to yourself “why bother”. Every now and then someone says or writes a post about their tribulations and it makes your realized that we all go through periods where we question ourselves but if photography truly makes you happy the “why bother” feeling starts to fade away and your true passion resurfes!

    1. Jennifer — I couldn’t have said it better myself. I get frustrated with my own photography for the exact reasons Bill talks about in his article, and I get the “Why bother” attitude, too (especially as someone whose full-time job isn’t photography. Heck, it’s not even my part-time job). I go weeks without shooting all too often and I feel like I’m not moving ahead, and I look at the work of the people I look up to and I feel like tossing my camera in the trash, but then an article like Bill’s reminds us that it’s not a race to the top, but a journey and the best part of any trip is the journey. We just need to relax and enjoy the ride, and get to a place where we focus on the joy of taking the photo and not just whether we took a portfolio-quality shot every time we go out on a shoot (but of course, he said it in a much more eloquent way than I just did, which is why his article is go great). :-)

  7. Thanks, Scott, for posting this….I recently went through a period of “why bother!”.  Thankfully, my bout with doubt only lasted a few days and, as Jennifer put it so well in her post below, my passion resurfaced and cleared up my thinking, lol.  It is still a great feeling though, to know I’m not alone in feeling this way.  There is a lot of great work out there, and I will definitely be watching for more great articles like this one!

  8. Thanks for extending Bill’s exposure. I had shared it right after I read it myself, but my following is considerably smaller than yours:-). I also shared it with my family and non-photographer friends as I think it’s relevance extends as much to life as it does imagery.

    I was before and more so now look forward to attending Bill’s workshop this fall.

  9. Outstanding article Scott. It could not have come at a better time for me as a staff photographer (or what’s left of being one) in this economy. So the answer to “why bother” is…when we hold a camera in our hands, it transforms is into what we are…not necessarily who we are.

  10. Let me start by saying, “Yes you do!!!”  I’ve spent 44 years studying the work of many photographers and I’m blessed to call many of the greatest, my dear friends, and no one fills that bill better than you Scott.  I may be influenced by what a giving, caring, warm, insightful, talented, hilarious, cool dude you are, but I still know my way around a camera and I know the breadth of what you can do with one, and that my friend, puts you squarly on my list, done, final, no more discussion!  One last thing, I’m honored to call you my friend, by-the-way, did I mention how blessed I am!

  11. I couldn’t agree more.  If it hurts playing the piano, then stop playing the piano.  I learn from others (such as your self) who have traveled the road before me.  They inspire me to improve, to learn, to get better at something I love to do, to say to my self I really like that picture. its not about getting better than they are, I could only hope one day to be as good.  That is why I attend your seminars and view your on-line classes, to learn.  The day I stop learning is the day I die.

  12. If you have to stop and think about it.. Everyone has their ever own inspirational hero’s as it were. And although people like the Masters.. Adams, Yousuf Karsh made me enter university to study photo arts. Since that time, many people have had more cause and effect on me personally, than any of those.

    I think Scott a bit modest and humble. Although he’s a bit of a carnival barker when it comes to marketing and getting it done. The bottom line is, you’d be hard pressed to find many people that have had such a major effect, on SO many people in the photographic world as Scott (Kelby Training) as a whole.

    Personally, Scott has in fact changed ‘My Life’ more so that those first images I saw as a teenager that drew me in like a black hole. When the digital age came into being. I was lost. And I didn’t want to continue making images anymore, period. After 30 years of film shooting, I was done. I hated Photoshop and wanted nothing to do with it.

    When I found Scott’s video tutorials and other information, he rekindled that fire inside me I had when i was 19 and heading off to school.. eager to soak it all up and get everything I could get. I was once again a Photographic Viking, running amok and taking no prisoners. Scott brought me back to life ‘photographically’ and although I’ve never met the man… He has truly changed another’s….

    How do you put a badge or place an award for something like that? How do your truly give another credit for something that significant or huge in another person’s life?

    With everything in totality that Scott has brought to millions of people with his work, and his band of hooligans over at Kelby.. How could he NOT be one of the people this great shooter describes?

    Many Thanks for the life line Scott.

    When you hit the pillow at night and it’s dark, make no mistake about it Sir.. My story is just one of thousands. You should feel all the accolades that are afforded you.

    1. John,
      Thanks for saying this so well! I too had over 30 years under my belt with film, and then went to work for Nikon, and realized I had a major mental block!!! To try and thaw my brain freeze I went out and bought a half dozen books on Photoshop, they might as well have been titled “the Fifty Ways to Do Every Single Process in Photoshop!”. I was lost even more than before! I was ready to just get out of photography and leave Nikon. Then someone golf me about Scott. One book later, (A Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop), I was well on my way to “going digital!”. Since I’m Nikon’s Tech Rep for the Southern U.S. I paid a visit to NAPP and thus started a life long friendship with Scott, and
      Matt, R.C., Larry, Dave, Dave, Brad, Cathy, and all the rest of the incredible team! Just like you John, Scott and his merry band have changed my life.

      It’s one thing to be a great shooter, and one of the best writers & educators in the world, it’s far more impressive to be a great person. Scott has been that for me and so much more, a friend and brother!

  13. I try to shoot every day. I dont rely on photography as my income but I’ve had a camera since ’65. Photography is my passion, one of the few hobbies I’ve had that I never get tired of! I to get into a slump, especially when I don’t (usually) have a client asking for a particular request. The last time I felt in a slump I called Joe McNally, I figured he could help and he did! He have me an awesome assignment and it still inspires me months later. I love photography so much and I believe if I just try hard enough I’ll always find something or someone to inspire!

  14. I’m glad that Bill reply’s to each comment on the blog.  That personal touch helps budding photographers and pros alike feel connected to such greats.  Great article, just good, simple words of wisdom.  

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