I posted this on FB, but I am posting it here again as I feel it is very important. It can be viewed on FB here www.facebook.com/JustinDeRosaP… if you feel inclined to share it
This morning, I was out photographing to try and get some photos of the snow before it melted...744 pictures to be exact. While photographing, I ran into a man who was nice enough in his own right, but felt the need to try and tell me how to take photos and attempt to impress me by his technical knowledge. This happens more often than you'd think. I have no idea how frequently it happens to anyone else, but I wanted to say a few words about it because I know there are some fellow artists that follow my work. Although it may be all over the place, I feel it is important to get this message across.
Unless you are specifically asking for help or suggestions, don't listen to what some dingdong tells you to do about creating art. It doesn't matter if it is photography, painting, or what ever else you create - follow your own heart and vision. Just because some stranger comes along and out of nowhere tries to tell you that you are doing something wrong doesn't make it so. There isn't a right way or a wrong way to create - only your way. Of course, it is important to learn the basics at some level and there is nothing wrong with learning new techniques and methods because it especially important to grow, but that growth and fire should first come from within. Every time you create you should try improving upon the last time. You do that to improve for yourself, not for others. Make your art your own.
Art is a lot about reflecting what is inside your heart, and mind. You can tell when someone creates from the heart. I have seen people get carried away where they need the latest and the best equipment yet that means nothing when they are just taking empty photographs, or painting empty canvases. These types of people apply their knowledge, but have no vision. That can't be taught in a book. I never took a single class, or went to school for photography. I am NOT saying it is wrong to learn that way, but what I am saying it is important to learn YOUR way. To express YOUR feelings, or thoughts through art.
Again, Create the way you like, not the way someone else likes. That can't be stressed enough here. Not everyone has to understand or enjoy what you are creating, and you don't have to understand or enjoy everyone else's work either, and that is also OK. If you are creating only to try and impress others, like some of these people I run into then you aren't really creating in the first place. Recognition is nice of course, and although I am most certainly very grateful for your support - I would still be taking photos and creating even if none of you stood behind me.
Maybe I look like I don't know what I am doing and I admit, I am not anywhere near a technical person when it comes to equipment or photography, but it is OK not to be. Jimi Hendrix played the guitar backwards, so by the logic of a naysayer - he shouldn't have been able to create the music that he did. Do not listen to toxic people you encounter in all walks of life who try to bring you down about what you are creating. These types of people just want to bring you down. Don't let them. Keep creating. I made this post because it worries me how many people could get discouraged from people like this. People like I mentioned touch a nerve with me. Not for my personal work but for what they do to others. This post is especially important for children because so many children get discouraged from art before they are even able to learn how to explore their creative side.
That being said about children, it is actually one of my goals - to teach children photography classes. Not traditional technical classes but just getting them out there photographing. One day.
TL;DR: Don't listen to people who try to put you down for not doing things their way.