On a near daily basis I receive emails from aspiring photographers, curious as to how I made it to where I am and if I have any advice that may help them in their quest. It is both humbling and gratifying to know that others think my thoughts have enough merit to better them as a budding photographer and business person. Let me be clear that I feel I am by no means “there” as a photographer, but I feel that I’m certainly somewhere on the way to “there”. I know I’m much closer to “there” than I was two or three years ago.
Photographer Adam Barker walking with Gitzo tripod during a commercial photography shoot in Sun Valley, ID. p: Jay Burke
The truth of the matter is this: if you’re reading this blog post, we are very much alike. We have far more in common than you could likely imagine. I am still very much clawing my way to greatness, but I can recall, when I was just taking my first steps into the unknown that defines a green photographer’s career, wondering what went through the brain of one more seasoned than I. For those of you perhaps in that same situation now, here’s a glimpse into my psyche as a person and a photographer. Whether you’re a seasoned vet, or a newbie to this fine medium, I’d love for you to add your own confession in the comments field if you like.
Photographer Adam Barker discussing technique during an instructional DVD shoot with Master Photo Workshops. p: Greg McKean
1. I sometimes wonder if I can do this for the rest of my life, and continue producing exceptional imagery.
2. My 3-yr old son knows I’m a photographer, and I love it.
3. I dream of shooting large format film one day–just for fun.
Photographer Adam Barker with Yellowstone Cutthroat trout. p: Bryan Gregson
4. I hate the “look at me” part of showing my work to potential clients and friends.
5. But I have figured out the difference between arrogant ego-padding, and proper self promotion.
6. There is no better motivator to work hard than knowing I have to provide for my family.
7. There is no better motivator to push my photography than knowing I’m surrounded (everywhere) by exceptional photographers.
Photographer Adam Barker shooting Agua Canyon in Bryce Canyon National Park, UT. p: Drew Stoecklein
8. I am ridiculously anal about having tack sharp images. I throw away most anything that isn’t tack when it’s supposed to be.
9. I, too, have an equipment wish list a mile long.
10. I love to teach photography. Someday I hope to make that a more significant part of my job.
Photographer Adam Barker reviewing images on Canon camera at a commercial shoot in Sun Valley, ID p: Jay Burke
11. My favorite time to shoot is sunrise, when everything is quiet and Mother Nature is the one doing the talking.
12. I am constantly wondering if I’m good enough. I have learned to deal with this in a positive way, and I hope this sentiment never leaves me.
13. I use gear I believe in, not just gear I get for free. That doesn’t mean I don’t love free stuff.
14. I am screwed without my Grad ND filters. Really.
15. My office is a freakin’ mess.
16. One of my greatest inspirations has always been David Muench.
17. The day goes by so much quicker when I’m working for myself. That’s not always a good thing.
Photographer Adam Barker shooting a Lamborghini Murcielago during a commercial shoot on the Bonneville Salt Flats, UT. p: David Watkins
18. I am afraid of flash photography.
19. My workflow is a freakin’ mess.
20. I think my favorite places to shoot are National Parks. They are so beautiful and grand. I wish I could have been around when they weren’t quite so crowded, but it’s great to see people out there enjoying them.