One Step. Then The Next. And The Next.

“It does not matter how you start. It matters how you finish.”—K Madhavan Pillai

“It does not matter how you start. It matters how you finish.”—K Madhavan Pillai

This article was originally published in September 2014.

Recently, a few photographers opened up to me with their thoughts. They were more than a little concerned about their future and the fact that very few people appreciated their work. They also felt that most of those who made it big, did so because of certain advantages that they began with. To bolster their courage and to encourage them, I drew a long list of examples that show why this is not always true.

It does not matter how you start. It matters how you finish. People care to know of the beginning only when the ending is consummate. And with photography, as with many other things in life, there are more ways than just one for an ending to be perfect. It is easy to write off success to being wealthy or having the right ‘connections’ or to plain, old luck. None of these make a difference if you do not have it in you to produce results. Besides, any or all of these factors can be substituted with time, effort, passion, perseverance and resilience. Is it going to be easy? Not necessarily. But what makes it seem easy is the joy that one derives from doing photography and one’s determination for achieving a little more everyday. It is more important to work with the advantages you have rather than mulling over the disadvantages of your situation.

In the end, you cannot create photographic masterpieces without knowledge and practice. Knowledge needs to be absorbed and cannot be inherited. Practice calls for the application of knowledge, which eventually leads to insight. Just as important, is to ensure that others around you see your work in progress. Thus, presentation skills and ability to network with people is essential. This too, fortunately, calls for some amount of learning and a lot of application.

With the developments in technology and access to online social networks, things have never been as easy as it is now, for a good photographer. But there are steps to success. I, for one, derive some peace in knowing that there is really no retirement age or ending for a photographer… Just new beginnings. We simply move on to the next assignment.

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