What is your work worth?

     The answer is simple. Your work is as valuable as you feel it is. If you feel that your picture is crap and worthless then that will be how it is viewed, provided you actually put it up to be seen. On the other side if you feel that your picture is great, then it is! When people start judging the value of their work off of what others think, then they begin to second guess themselves, and even worse, stop enjoying what it is they do in the first place, in this example being photography.

     I am sure that a lot of you have heard me tell you that the value of your pictures is judged by how much a viewer is willing to invest their personal time into it. If your picture drops jaws and opens eyes, then chances are it will be more valuable to a possible client. There are many little tips and tricks I will offer on how to improve your images in that area so you can have confidence in your work. First, however, I want everyone to do me a favor.

     Find your 100% favorite picture you have taken, no matter what it is. Pull it up and REALLY look at it. Take it in. Don't think about things you would change, or what somebody else said about it, because the reason you are looking at THAT image is because it is YOUR favorite. Keep looking, let your eyes flow freely around the image, maybe land on something you have never noticed before.

     Chances are that you have probably spent around 30 seconds or more looking at the image, and if you like to look at it that long, then you can imagine how long a person could look at it for the first time. You invested the time to take the picture, invested the time to edit the picture, if needed, and you took the time to save it, upload it to social media, or even had it printed out. You did all of that so stop weighing the image's value on what others think of it. Yes, another person may see this image as worthless, but if you really put your heart and soul into the image and TRULY believe this to be your best image, then it is. You really think that somewhere out there on a planet full of over 7 billion people, there is not a single person who would love to have that picture in their living room on the wall?

     Never underestimate your own self worth. Never let others tell you that you can't do something that you know you can, or at least even want to try. What is your work worth? To someone out there, even if it is just you, it is priceless. Don't lose site of the single more important thing about that image, you. You may not even be in the picture, but you were the reason it was created. Without you it would never be. Now, I am not saying that every picture that everyone takes is gold, because, in all honesty it isn't. I go through hundreds of images just to find ONE that I like, and sometimes I don't even like the selected one too much.

     I would like to finish by telling you something. No matter who you are. No matter what you are doing. You have an ability to influence somebody out there, even if it is just one person. In this crazy world we are living in, one is better then none. It all starts there. It all starts with one person you can try to help. Pay it forward. Make sure that you let the people that influence you know that they do, be honest with them. Share the love. Share the support, and remember, no matter what, your work, is priceless. Period.

My first print (August 17th, 2016)

     Hello all! Today I will be talking to you about motivating yourself to get out there and take pictures as much as you can! I started taking pictures without really knowing what I was doing, just snapping things that looked good to me. Looking back I can see those shots and there is A LOT I would change about them, but really, I wouldn't. Photography is this ever changing, ever evolving lifestyle and passion that once grabs hold of you, has you forever, and can take you on the best ride of your life!

     When you have some down time, think about the most beautiful place near where you live. Sometimes it will be the first place that pops into your head as the spot you can relax and be alone. Sometimes it will be a place that is just truly unique. Whatever the reason is latch on to it, and really think about why it is so special to you. Got it? Great! Now try to envision a way to convey that emotion you created into a picture to show somebody in the hopes that they would want to go there. You want to transport them. You want to make them yearn to see what you did. 

     See it is all about value. The images that we take are PRICELESS to us, because we worked to get them. It is only natural to want others to appreciate our work. A person will judge the "value" of your picture by how much personal time they are willing to invest into at it. If your image is very drawing to the viewer, then they will want to look at it longer and longer. To some people the picture may actually be so good that they want to hang it up somewhere to look at day after day. I fit into the last category, I want to take pictures that make people smile, and feel warm inside, whether it is a landscape or a portrait. There is no limit to what you can capture, and you never know what somebody may think of your image, so why not take a shot!!! Okay, bad pun, sorry.

     My very first picture that I sold was a complete accident. I took a shot of a section of road here in Hawai'i as a homework assignment for college. After receiving a good grade on it, I wanted to put it on the fridge, so to speak. Problem was I didn't have any colorful letter magnets, so I just posted in on my Facebook. Two days later, I got a message from a man who wanted to buy a full size print of the picture to hang on his wall. I was beside myself, and of course agreed to sell him a copy. I did not know how much to charge, but I threw him a number and he agreed without hesitation. A week later he sent me a picture of my picture, framed, and hanging in the entry hallway of his house. I have never been so proud of any picture I took up to that point. I am smiling now even thinking about it. The picture is below.

     The point I am trying to make, is that everything has the potential to be beautiful. Something is beautiful to someone in some way. So why not take a chance. Grab your camera. Go to your favorite spot. Take a few shots and most importantly enjoy your time alone with yourself and your thoughts. I would love to see some of your work and shots that you have taken! I hope to hear from all of you! Thank you so much for reading my very first blog!