A week of 2014 has already passed and I think today’s the perfect day to start blogging on my new website. First, there are some things you should know about me. As the logo suggests, I’m David Samperio. I’m Spanish, but I recently passed my Advanced Certificate of English exam, so Cambridge says I’m able to write in English. Well, I’ll try.
I’ve been involved in photography since 2008, always as an amateur because I’ve been tied up with other jobs. Looking back, photography has always been in my life in one way or another, and it still is. So, there must be something really interesting about taking photos if I haven’t stopped doing it or swapped it for, I don’t know, knitting for example. That’s because I love taking photos, and I love telling stories through my photos even more.
I’ve decided to take the big step and start my career in the photographic world. I don’t want to regret never having done it when I’m older, I want to try now. I’m going to use this blog to show the evolution of my work. It´s that simple. This is not a tool for me to brag or gloat. Firstly, because there is nothing I can brag about and secondly because that would be more embarrassing to me than taking a mediocre photo.
There are a few things that I know about the art of taking photos, and lots that I don’t know but hope to learn. This blog is going to be about all of these things. There aren’t specific guidelines for it. I’ll write about what I try with my camera every day, the decisions that I make when taking a photo or how I process it. I expect to write about software, cameras and lenses too, of course, I’m a tech-geek! But I’ll also write about the other part of the picture, business. If I want to live from my images, there is something that should always be clear to me, and that is that professional photography is a business.
Making a living from photography is not easy. Even I know that. Everyday you see really good photographers out there, struggling to make some money from their pictures. And there are lots of good photographers.
I always thought that in order to be a great photographer you should take great photos. But then I realised that there are thousands of great photos posted by people everyday on social networks and photography websites, but there aren’t thousands of great photographers. Why? Because photography is not only about pressing the shutter button at the right moment, and processing the resulting image with the right software in the right way. For me it’s like writing a book. Anyone can write a powerful, interesting sentence anytime. But only a few end up writing novels. Photography is about patience and time, it’s a long process. I may not be a professional photographer tomorrow, next month or next year. If I do things right, I might be able to call myself a professional photographer by the time I’m retired. Oh, sorry my mistake, photographers don’t retire. They can’t afford it.
Everyday it’s clearer to me that photography is about taking a risk with your camera, and I don’t mean putting your life at risk climbing on ‘El Capitan’ in order to take the perfect shot of the sunrise. Simple things like asking someone on the street if you can take a picture of them can be, for some, a difficult thing. The photographer may sweat and shake as if he were going to jump from a plane for the first time. And I know this because I’m one of those people. I can tell you, I’d rather be on that plane.
Pressing the shutter on your camera is the final step of a more complex process that involves lots of decisions. That’s what professional photography is about, at least to me, (among thousands of other small things). So, my main challenge will be finding the guts to put myself at ‘risk’. What can I lose? Sometimes that will guide me to a great picture. Sometimes I’ll end up with a blurred photo, but it won’t matter because I’ll be happy. The rest will come.
Here starts the wanna-be-a-professional-photographer-blog.