Several years ago I bought a camera on Black Friday. It was one of those package deals at Best Buy.
After seeing the work of Jeremy Cowart, I became extremely interested in photography. I knew I wanted to do commercial photography and would need to learn how to work with big lights. I read read photography forum after photography forum. I was learning large amounts of new information but was never able to put this knowledge into practice.
Commercial lights can be expensive so I wasn’t able to get my own. I applied at Studio One in The Woodlands Mall. I figured I had to start somewhere. I filled out the application, submitted my limited portfolio and called several times. Finally, I was able to speak with a manager who told me after reviewing my portfolio and experience I would not be getting the job, let alone even an interview.
I couldn’t even get hired at Studio One in the mall…
I was discouraged for a few days, but then remembered that one person’s opinion didn’t determine my future. I began to work even harder.
Less than 2 years later, my work had been published on ESPN Radio, Yahoo.com and TMZ.com. I had champions from the UFC calling wanting me to take photos of them. I even had MTV call and want me to shoot their entire campaign for a show called Bully Beatdown.
This is a great lesson for us all. Opinions of other people (good or bad) don’t determine our success. Yes, feedback is important, but it should not be the only metric we use to gauge our future. Don’t let a negative opinion stop you from pursuing your passion.
“The only guarantee for failure is to stop trying”
― John C. Maxwell