Find Your Vision and Work Your Ass Off
The world is full of photographers. Especially with the advent of smartphones with excellent built-in cameras. But even when one eliminates the smartphone shooters, there are still a gazillion photographers on the planet. And while golf course photography is a tiny niche, there are many excellent golf course photographers ready, willing and able to photograph any course that comes calling. So the dilemma is, how does one build a career in a field that has plenty of pros already on the scene?
My plan all along has been to follow my basic philosophy on work, and to do a few things differently, style-wise. My work philosophy has four elements.
And speaking of Ambiente… Jason Straka, of Fry Straka Global Golf Design, the course's designer, also padded my ego a bit in November when I was in Scottsdale photographing the course. Ambiente was scheduled to open on the 19th, and I was there the 15th thru the 18th, shooting. Jason flew in for the opening on the 18th, and over lunch asked me if there were any holes that stood out to me. The course is full of holes that stood out to me, but I told him, "The first". He said, "What? That's interesting. We had to kind of wedge that hole in there, because there was nowhere else to go with it and I never thought of it as special." Late that afternoon, I was back at the golf club, shooting around the clubhouse and Jason called me on my cell. He said, "I'm sitting over here on 1, and you're right. I've never looked at the hole in this light and it's really beautiful." Having the ability to use a good DSLR and the digital technologies available today for editing and processing images is very important. But for a photographer, having a vision is the most valuable asset, and helping a great golf course architect see something he hadn't noticed before is a great feeling.
So, if you're a photographer, here are some thoughts to consider. Learn from, but don't copy other photographers. Appreciate their work, but don't try to duplicate it. Find your vision. Work your ass off. And have fun!
Excellent article and having worked with you on numerous occasions and at different locations-I can say you practice what you preach!
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