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Author Topic: A Key Step To Becoming A Better Photographer In 2013  (Read 3749 times)
wolfnowl
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« on: December 31, 2012, 12:59:26 AM »
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from Matt Kloskowski:

http://www.mattk.com/2012/12/31/a-key-step-to-becoming-a-better-photographer-in-2013/

Mike.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 03:31:11 AM »
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I haven't watched the video but reading the blurb was interesting.

Tony Jay
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francois
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 05:38:02 AM »
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Thanks for the article, always interesting to see/read/hear other people's thoughts.
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Francois
Isaac
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 12:37:57 PM »
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I didn't feel like spending the time being a captive audience for the video, so just to comment on the blog post text -- as a mission statement To take beautiful pictures of beautiful places is vague and lacks a concrete statement of measurable objectives.

Perhaps the reason we "don’t hear much about mission statements anymore" is because they were often done so badly.

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MattKloskowski
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 09:47:56 PM »
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I guess you could also look at it as simple and to the point Isaac. But hey... feel free to make your own more "concrete" one if you'd like  Wink
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kaelaria
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 11:17:04 PM »
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I guess you could also look at it as simple and to the point Isaac. But hey... feel free to make your own more "concrete" one if you'd like  Wink


Exactly Smiley  Good to see you here Matt.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 07:11:26 AM »
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I dunno.. I find the mission statement 'to take beautiful pictures in beautiful places' pretty meaningless on its own. I guess a lot depends on one's definition of 'beauty'. It doesn't really matter though; I am sure Matt knows what he means and what he wants to achieve.

When all is said and done writing down our mission goals is always the first step to achieving them and from looking at Matt's images he has already started down the road....
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 07:24:50 AM »
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My mission is to become a better photographer. So I'm saving for a) a D800 & b) a trip to photograph New England lighthouses  Wink
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Isaac
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 12:30:46 PM »
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I guess you could also look at it as simple and to the point Isaac.
Did you take any beautiful pictures of beautiful places in 2011, before your mission statement?
Why? To amuse yourself for a couple of hours on business trips? To create something to decorate your home? To promote your professional activities? ...?

You may know what you mean and what you want to achieve but that really isn't in your mission statement.
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B-Ark
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 02:11:44 PM »
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My mission statement has been to "take ugly pictures of ugly places".
I'm happy to report that (so far) I have been very successful  ;-)
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MattKloskowski
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 02:20:38 PM »
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But my mission statement is for me - not you Isaac. That's what I wrote about. I never told people to create a goal or mission for everyone else in the world - just create one for yourself. Heck, I never even said you have to share it with anyone else. As long as YOU understand it, and it's meaningful for you, that's what counts. If you'd like to put rules and guidelines around your goals or missions then have at it - doesn't mean that I have to.

Remember, we're not running a a huge company here with customers and board members to answer to. Most of the people reading and watching, just really enjoy photography. All I wanted to do was write an article that I thought would help them focus on what they enjoy the most from it.

Here's the thing. You obviously disagree with this. I'm okay with that. I wrote an article that, from the comments tweets and messages I've received from it, has already helped hundreds of people. I consider that a success and feel like I've done some good with my platform and what I wrote. I don't expect everyone to agree with it and that's just fine.

The main reason I commented here was not to disagree with you because you didn't like what I wrote. That happens to me everyday, and I've long since learned to get over it. It was because you wrote a comment saying you weren't going to watch the video (which was a key part in what I posted and I referenced several times), but yet chose to take a jab at one sentence in the entire post. You took one sentence in a 1000+ word post and took it out of context here. When read in context, I think everyone who reads it is smart enough to figure out how I meant it, regardless of what exact wording I included in the mission statement. Everyone who commented seemed to get it except you. Nobody commented and said "Matt I just don't get what you mean here. What's a beautiful place?".
Judging from the number of comments you have here, you're respected in this forum - so it's reasonable to think that somebody may read your comment and just ignore my post because you took one sentence out of it, posted it here, and called it lacking. So I jumped in, in hopes that that person may actually go on to read the post, watch the video, and it may actually help them. That's all I can hope for.
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MattKloskowski
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 02:21:55 PM »
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My mission statement has been to "take ugly pictures of ugly places".
I'm happy to report that (so far) I have been very successful  ;-)


I needed that B-Ark! That was the best laugh I've had today Smiley
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kikashi
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 02:59:20 PM »
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My mission statement has been to "take ugly pictures of ugly places".
I'm happy to report that (so far) I have been very successful  ;-)


Where's the skill in that? Taking ugly pictures of beautiful places, now there's a knack. I'm nearly there, I think.

Jeremy
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Isaac
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 03:52:56 PM »
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That's what I wrote about. I never told people to create a goal or mission for everyone else in the world - just create one for yourself.

And then gave as an example something vague.

Perhaps the reason we "don’t hear much about mission statements anymore" is because they were often done so badly.


It was because you wrote a comment saying you weren't going to watch the video (which was a key part in what I posted and I referenced several times), but yet chose to take a jab at one sentence in the entire post.

"What I wanted to do here is talk a little about the first step – deciding what kind of photographer you want to be."

That kind-of suggests your blog post text is supposed to stand-by itself without watching your video.

Your entire blog post is about that one sentence -- your mission statement.
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Schewe
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 05:23:08 PM »
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That kind-of suggests your blog post text is supposed to stand-by itself without watching your video.

Your entire blog post is about that one sentence -- your mission statement.

Yes...and what's wrong with that?

Knowing Matt and having the chance to work with him a bit over the years, I have to say that his level of photography has certainly risen a lot over the years. But I agree with his post in that many people try way too hard to do way too much. Unlike myself (I decided to become a pro photographer in college), I don't think Matt ever imagined that he would become a photographer. He and Scott kinda fell into photography because of the way digital has taken over photography.

Most photographers who shoot professionally are forced into a degree of specialization because of the competition in the marketplace. I rejected that professionally a long time and was much more of a generalist–I specialized in doing really neat stuff for really great people for a lot of money. Sadly, the market for that has diminished :~(

Matt isn't a "pro" photographer (although his work is very professional). But one of the things I see a lot of "amateurs" fall into is trying to shoot EVERYTHING....which is what Matt had been doing. Now, before anybody's feathers get ruffled, let me tell you that I have a lot more respect (by and large) for "amateurs" than for "pros". Pros tend to be a bunch of whiny cheap-ass pissants (I know this from a long, long history of trying to organize pro shooters for the improvement of the industry). The word amateur (from the French word "lover of") I think of as a love of the art...doing something for love it, is, I think noble...doing something for money, maybe less so...

So, the thrust of Matt's post (which stands just fine on it's own without the video) is an interesting look at how Matt decided to refine what he wants to shoot and settle on the things that move him the most...which is, I think and excellent idea for people to consider.

Note that formalizing his mission statement has led him to spend the time and effort to find interesting places to shoot in the areas where he has t travel to for work. I've done enough traveling for work to know that it takes a real effort to push yourself to shoot before or after doing your normal day job. Heck, Matt even made the effort to find a sunrise shot BEOFRE work (I much prefer sunsets cause, well, you don't have to get up early and work in the dark, ya know?).

I suspect Isaac may have an "issue" with Photoshop TV...so be it. But that doesn't really have anything to do with Matt's mission statement, right? Just pretend he didn't post a link to the video he wrote about...

I normally don't watch Photoshop TV that much (I have watched when some interesting people or friends are on) but heck, at this point I think I'll have to watch it!
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2013, 07:11:14 PM »
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A mission statement when mentioned or applied in conjunction with artistic endeavour, I just do not understand, it strikes me as being sooo American to even think of doing something like that. Hey don't get me wrong, I love the US and visit there often, you are a great people and nation, but I think you have become so deeply business oriented that you are missing the point. Being creative, I mean actually creating something with your own hands from nothing, does not naturally flow from applying business based logical processes such as mission statements.

I cannot imagine any respected photographer/artist from the past having thought to themselves in their early careers, hmm, I am not doing this as well as I want to, so the first thing I need to do to get me on the right track, is to create a mission statement and perhaps while I am at it, I should also set some goals and perhaps draw up a success/failure criteria and what the heck, lets throw in some Venn diagrams…

If photography is art and I truly believe it is, and you are driven by the desire to create (whether you are successful or otherwise), then you should certainly not need a mission statement to push yourself forwards.

However, being successful in the business and sales of your creative endeavours, then yes I agree a business related mission statement is essential, but not to be used in the vain hope it will increase ones creative abilities surely?

Dave
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 06:09:29 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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Schewe
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2013, 10:54:21 PM »
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A mission statement when mentioned or applied in conjunction with artistic endeavour, I just do not understand, it strikes me as being sooo American to even think of doing something like that.

Dave, I agree, I don't think you do understand what Matt was talking about (and not because you're from the Isle of Skye–I've been there, nice place, a bit off the beaten track for me though).

First off, Matt doesn't claim to be a a "fine art" photographer or any sort of professional photographer...his day job (if you don't know what he does) is to teach and write about Photoshop & Lightroom. He does use his photography in his books and lectures (as do I) but as far as I know, Matt isn't hanging his work in a gallery or selling it as a normal course of his work. He's much more of an amateur in the truest sense of the work...he loves photography.

His "mission statement" could be translated as his photographic goals for the coming year. You got anything against setting goals? Matt is trying to set a series of goals for his photography and he calls it a mission statement. So what? He's making a statement that his mission this year is to take beautiful pictures of beautiful places...those are his goals. Good for him.

If you don't understand the concept of trying to verbalize a set of goals to try to accomplish, and then working toward achieving those goals, I'm kinda wondering about how you go about deciding what to do with your life...

Matt's mission is to take an extra step when traveling, to find and shoot beautiful pictures of beautiful places...which beats the heck out of sitting in a hotel ordering room service and emptying the minibar and watching pay per view movies. Been there, done that, it's pretty boring...

Jeesh, I don't know what's in the air today. Somebody was jumping all over Alain Briot's series on Color Harmonies in Photography LuLa article and now Matt's taking crap for writing about his mission statement.

BTW, I watched most all of the video he linked and he and Scott made some good points (just a bit slow about getting them out though). There are indeed steps one can take to improve themselves in their photographic efforts. Matt only wrote about the one that means the most to himself. Ya gotta watch the video to see the others :~)
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2013, 12:06:41 AM »
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Great to see you here Matt.  I enjoy reading your blog(and your Google+ postings...hint hint) and always come away with something to think about.  I enjoyed reading your piece about your mission statement.  Thanks for sharing. 
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Rob C
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2013, 03:59:55 AM »
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Mission Statements

I think the problem is cultural. Where I grew up, they smack of pretention and packaging; the gilding of otherwise barren product.

This has nothing much to do with an 'artist's' actual work, but everything to do with the modern concept of promotion of that artist. Normally, one would expect the viewer to be fully capable of seeing or not seeing what is or is not present in any work. The mission of the 'statement'  is for that statement itself to have a mission of its own: to modulate viewer experience/expectation.

Often, it's an attempt to clothe the emperor.

I do not imply any such meaning to the current people in this chat; it's meant as an interpretation, cultural, of what such 'statement's actually suggest to many other people not themselves conditioned to accepting the phenomenon.

Rob C
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opgr
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2013, 04:33:32 AM »
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I do not imply any such meaning to the current people in this chat; it's meant as an interpretation, cultural, of what such 'statement's actually suggest to many other people not themselves conditioned to accepting the phenomenon.


Might as well provide the extension: the article merely suggests to try to step out of our normal interpretation of the word and apply a "mission statement" to one's personal endeavours. It might help focus one's goals. Don't quite see the need for this discussion. To me personally (culturally?) a mission statement in the context of Art should probably be a summarizing sentence of an Artist's statement. But surely we don't want to open that can of worms again.  Wink
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Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
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