First off I’m not trying to knock the talent anyone has, there are obviously very talented people in all walks of life that just seem to have the knack for doing something better than others. That said, does everyone take advantage of their talent or is it just something they have and comes in handy every once in awhile. You might have a green thumb and talent for growing things does everyone with a green thumb become a professional gardener? So when it comes to photography do you explain it as a talent or passion? There seems to be no way I would describe myself as having a talent for photography mostly because it sounds arrogant but more importantly talent if there is any is second by far to the enjoyment it brings and desire to do it.
There are many things in life we feel like we do rather well (I can make dark chocolate disappear as fast as anyone I know), everyone has some talent for somethings maybe many things, but are those things a major focus of what you chose to do or are they just things you can do if you need or want to. In many ways I believe talent can be confused with passion. For example, I know of many people and I’m sure you do to who make their living doing something they are just not very good at. And their are those who are extremely talented but make their living doing something totally different from their talent. This may very well describe most people but the point is, passion will trump talent every time. Having said that, there is something that will trump talent or passion and that is having passion for what you are talented at, both combined to produce the best of each.
It does no good to have talent for something you really don’t care to do and furthermore if you have passion for something you will probably do it as much as you can which in turn will develop one’s talent for their chosen craft. So in the end as I just mentioned passion will win out in the long run every time.
Most people start their photographic journey with very little talent for it, after all it takes time, practice, patience, willingness to experiment, making of mistakes and the desire to not give up. If you don’t have passion for photography you probably won’t stick it out long enough for your talent to grow, which by the way will be for the rest of your life. Many people want to be a photographer after all it’s the life of wondrous journeys and experiences, and a nature photographer, well what could be better than that if your a nature and outdoors lover! Without looking up the numbers I would venture to say the field of photographers has exploded since the digital camera became the tool of choice. If you take photographs you are technically a photographer the question lies in whether amateur or professional goes before it, and this may or may not have anything to do with having a talent for it.
Have passion for what you chose to do. Don’t just go through the steps because it’s on some list of guidelines somewhere. Don’t make photographs for the sake of winning a popularity contest. Speaking of contests, there is something about photo contests that I find almost ridiculous, but that conversation can be for another day. Don’t make photographs that others expect you to make this can only lead to predictable boorishness. Have passion for the image you chose to capture, have passion for the creativity in producing the final result, after all, know else has the same talent you do. Ignore the others and go your own way.