Fear, Passion, and Balance

||, Personal|Fear, Passion, and Balance

Fear, Passion, and Balance

By |2018-07-06T14:25:59+00:00February 25th, 2009|Categories: Inspiration, Personal|6 Comments

Long before I started my photography career I was worried that, over time, I would start to see photography as a job and would lose my passion and love for what I do.  The nature of my job as a contributor to iStockPhoto & TWIP is, in a nutshell, to photograph & teach what I want with no boss & no deadlines, so I guess that keeps most of the boring stuff out.  But there is that part of me that realizes (well, hopes) that one day I do have those things and that I am still able to keep my passion for photography alive.  The fear is there … it’s tiny and in the back of my head, but I won’t ignore it.  I want to be scared of it because if I am still scared then it means I still care.

Even though I can photograph & teach what I want to, it’s still work.  Sometimes I take pictures of things I know will have a good chance of selling.  I get a sort of “high” when I look at my images on the back of my camera and see a great image that has potential, but sitting behind my computer and processing the photos is still going to be, for the most part, dreary and monotonous.  I can sit at my computer for half a day creating a tutorial that will reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people … and, well, I actually can’t think of anything boring or uninteresting about that part of my job (other than the fact that I do it for free, hehe!). ;)

In five/ten/twenty years will I still feel the same way?  Will I get excited to go on a photoshoot?  I think so.  I honestly can’t imagine not wanting to create in pixels the images that are burned into my brain.  I want other people to see those images too … I want other people to be able to create their own images, their own memories.  I don’t want to stop!

So … what do I do?

One of my recent hobbies has been to create TimeLapse movies.  I do these because I want to; I get enjoyment from the process of creating them and sharing them with others.  I do them because they are FUN!  That’s the key.  Keep the fun in photography … don’t make it only about gear, megapixels, money, contests, critiques, or skills.  If you suck at photography but you love taking photos, don’t stop.  If you don’t have a lot of money and can’t afford a “better” camera, use what you have and don’t let it get you down.  If you work all day and the sun is down when you get home, grab a tripod and try taking photos of the stars.  In my opinion, everyone is a photographer … you don’t have to be a pro or even know what you are doing, but everyone enjoys taking photos because they are preserving a memory.  If photography is your full-time job, try to integrate a part of photography that makes you happy and doesn’t just result in a paycheck.  I sometimes have to force myself to step out of my “iStock box” and take photos that I don’t plan on uploading or making any money on … it keeps my brain charged and my creative juices flowing.  Sometimes I even (unintentionally) come up with great-selling images in the process!

So just as we do in our day-to-day life, we are happiest when we have a balance of work and play.  That, in my humble opinion, is the key to staying passionate about photography.

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website, nicolesy.com.


  1. jamesbdotcom February 25, 2009 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Well Said Nicole! Balance is the key to a lot of life’s dilemmas.


  2. jamesbdotcom February 25, 2009 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Sorry, another comment. I also like your point that you don’t have to have the latest equipment to pursue your passion. Yes, it would be nice to have all the latest coolest stuff, but I think that getting too caught up in always having the newest equipment can make us unhappy. There are limitless possibilities, even with the equipment we already have.

  3. myphotoscout February 25, 2009 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Very nice Nicole. I think you hit the nail on the head with your article. I get all these questions about equipment and sometimes people tell me that they are “only using camera …” and thus their pictures cannot look as good as mine. When I reply to say that the picture they just looked at was taken with an ancient Canon Rebel I get only disbelief.
    The camera industry has changed our perception and the many reviews that litter the internet have done their share. Professionals often speak out about their wonderful new Mark III models.
    As you mentioned, when you are having fun and living your photography, your photographs will show it too. They will look better than the technically perfect, HDR tweaked and histogram adjusted pictures of boring and static subjects.
    Great post!

  4. MartySkitch February 25, 2009 at 10:27 am - Reply

    I’m taking a photo class and the instructor told us to create two portfolios, one of our best pictures and one of our favorite pictures. I guess the favorites have/will come from projects for myself.

  5. Pepe May 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    That was a great tutorial, as I plan to do some timelapse as well. But I wonder if you have ever done day to night timelapse, and what kind of settings that would require.


  6. Nicole May 3, 2009 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    @Pepe … Thanks! To answer your question, no, I haven’t done anything that was “long-term”. I do know that Nikon has a remote cord (MC-36) that allows you to do longer timelapse shots, but I have never used it.

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