Now unless you've seen the movie the above quote may not necessarily stick out to you, but for me, it was life-changing. It made me think about my life, and if I was living for myself or not. Were the goals I set upon myself for me? Or were they simply made to be relevant to other people. It made me realize that we are here for a purpose, but not all purposes. It was an acknowledgement that we as people are made for some things and not others.
And at that moment, I began to think about photography, design and basically RIVALS. Initially, RIVALS goal was to develop a creative marketing powerhouse, I wanted like-minded individuals to get together and build a business that was not only innate but cohesive... Things didn't necessarily work out that way, though, as of now RIVALS is still a one man show. I noticed later down the road that people are egotistical, they are worried about whose name is headlining the project, as opposed to actually being a part of one... In a sports world, these individuals are the ones who play for the MVP, instead of the championship. So, what did I do? I tried to compensate for their absence, I spent (spend) every day trying to educate myself on different genres of photography, some things I learned help me, but there were also forms of photography that weren't necessary for me, it was very time-consuming.
As much as I love photography I had to come to the realization that every genre wasn't for me. I was studying weddings, infants, events, candids, people, portraits and even selfies. Where was the specialization? Who wants to hire a photographer who does everything? It was the equivalent of going to a buffet and expecting an amazing quality in every type of dish they served... That happened never!
After this idealization, I started thinking about my gear and what equipment I needed to produce my style of photography. I came to the conclusion that I suffered from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) because I wasn't being honest with myself as a photographer. I've always felt empty after a big shoot because I didn't feel like my equipment was adequate. For example, after my first wedding, I noticed that I really needed a macro lens, at the time it was ideal and necessary to capture those ring shots with little effort, so like any wedding photographer, I purchased one. Except, I wasn't a wedding photographer, the lens didn't get any use, it sat on my desk collecting dust, and was sold about 2 weeks later to rectify for what I thought was another void in my kit.
It's not that I didn't feel like a photographer, it's that I didn't think people would take me serious as one, so in order to stay relevant (and busy) I immersed myself into every genre of photography. I told myself that with better gear came more attention and that with more attention I'd be networking, which would eventually lead into streams of opportunity and revenue... But boy was I wrong! I lost myself in this transition, I was shooting things I didn't enjoy, and I think that reflected in my work.
I want to get back to that beginner stage, to that eternal adolescence. I understand now that my eye isn't unique for every situation, I may not be a great event photographer or portrait shooter, it doesn't mean I can't take those images, but perhaps that just isn't my calling. I'm here to enjoy photography as a whole, but maybe I'll only specialize in a few of its aspects. And that's perfectly okay, it doesn't make me any less of a professional.
After all that thinking I went back to the basics, I noticed that this was RIVALS sole purpose, understanding that we all don't individually possess the talent to dominate one market, but as a core collective, we can. So I want to find my specialization and expect to see a more consistent portfolio from me coming.