Originally published July 27, 2015 – You’ve heard the quote a thousand times, “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” To the best of my research, a quote from Harvey Mackay, author of Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt.
We all have jobs. Some of us have jobs we love. Some of us have jobs we are passionate about. Rarely does anyone have a job that IS their passion.
While watching the Brickyard 400 NASCAR event yesterday, I was thinking about this. The network was showing a feed of Roger Penske, atop the garage, watching the track as one of his drivers, Joey Logano, was preparing for the green-white-checkered sprint to the finish (Joey ultimately finished second to Kyle Busch).
It’s well known that racing is Roger Penske’s passion. He’s a legendary competitor in both NASCAR and IRL circles, and his 16 wins at Indy tops all owners. But it’s not his day job–it’s “just” what he does on weekends.
For me, it’s photography.
I started out as the school yearbook photographer, shooting (horrible) black and white 35mm photos, either wasting film in poorly-focused shots, or destroying good shots in the darkroom.
I used a school advisor-provided metal body Canon that weighed about 10 lbs., even before attaching the dumbbell-sized telephoto lens. Between the lens shake from trying to hold 15 lbs. of camera equipment on a moving target (usually a basketball player), and the poor focus from my uncorrected myopia, every shot was an adventure. Looking back, I’m amazed there were enough decent shots to fill out the pages.
(And no, this isn’t where I’ll be posting a blurry, black and white shot of someone with feathered hair, too short shorts, and over the calf striped tube socks driving to the hoop. Besides, you just pictured it in your mind anyways.)
But if you’re passionate about something, you keep at it.
You try harder.
You learn from others.
You read how to get better.
You get glasses.
You burn through film, looking for that perfect shot.
You upgrade your equipment.
You curse the digital revolution, as you just learned a level of competency with your film camera (still a Canon, although lighter).
Over and over. Thousands of shots: blurred, out of focus, out of frame.
You keep learning, from small successes along the way.
But mostly from the failures.
You keep climbing.
Because it’s your passion.
You flirt with the other brand
You buy one, hate it, go back to Canon.
You upgrade to a digital set-up.
You study the work of betters: Adams, Mapplethorpe, Avedon, Leibovitz.
You try to develop your eye.
You get Lasik.
You shoot thousands of shots.
You delete thousands of shots, because your standards are now higher.
You thank God for digital.
You refuse to Photoshop.
You shoot outside your comfort zone, literally hanging ten over a thousand foot drop at Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, because it’s the only way to get the iconic shot.
You get the shot.
You upgrade again, because now you NEED to.
You meet an architect on a flight to New Orleans. He asks why you “take pictures.” You instinctively respond, “Because it’s how I see the world.”
You have an epiphany, realizing it’s true.
You shoot your daughters’ marching band competitions. You focus on them through the telephoto lens, and through the magic of mirrors and magnification, you really SEE them.
You keep shooting – every vacation, every business trip.
You have some kind of camera everywhere you go.
You shoot circuses, car shows, iguanas, elephants, mountains, canyons, and flowers.
You shoot a 1,700-lb. bull stomping a 160-lb. cowboy.
You do this for the better part of four decades.
And you think “I’ve found what I love.”
1) All photos copyright 2015 by Tim Flucht ; all rights reserved. 2) The site only allows low-res uploads. 3) What do you call a group of butterflies? I had to look it up after shooting these. 4) You can find Mr. Mackay’s books here: http://www.amazon.com/Harvey-Mackay/e/B000AQ8WKO/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1438022891&sr=8-2-ent 5) A flutter of butterflies, or 6) A kaleidoscope of butterflies.