I began my London Night Photography adventure with two of the most creative photographers London knows. Both taught me the rules of photography so I would know how to break these same rules later. If you can find a photography mentor, I highly recommend doing so. Soon, you’ll see a mentorship program on this very website.
During those days as a wee photographer, I spent every day walking around London practising. Some days I would spend twelve hours doing nothing but clicking my camera’s shutter. Practising is all I would do for months on end. Thinking I had some of the best photographs London had ever seen, I would return to each mentor for a critique, and a new lesson. They were supportive of my effort, but I did not receive the thoughtless “like” we find on social media today. Often the critiques were harsh, and I had to explain why I thought a photograph was good. In the end, I was told in a constructive manner why a particular photograph was not good at all. Was I discouraged? No. Were my feelings hurt? No. Each session motivated me to return to London’s streets to practice more photography until I not only satisfied myself but my good teachers as well. I had to get it right for them – and me.
I say this because real life, and real photography, is not all rainbows and butterflies in a utopian world as portrayed on Instagram, or Facebook. It simply isn’t. Everyone says photography is easy, but the truth is good photography is not at all easy. Let me caution you, don’t allow your judgement be clouded by a thousand likes. Snapshots are not photographs. Social acceptance does not make for good photography.
People ask me all the time for advice with regard to the photography business. There is the key word – business. It is just that, so if you plan to make photography a career, treat it as such, and be prepared to create your own opportunities. More than this, be prepared for a lot – and I do mean A LOT – of hard work. I do not mind at all sharing my knowledge. My simple answer is if you have the desire and passion, anything is possible. Yes, there is more to it than this. If ever you have a question regarding the photography business or photography techniques, please do not hesitate to ask.
There is much competition out there eager to find what you, too, are seeking. Yes, have an edge, but do it with nice curb appeal, and if you are able – help others along the way.
My London journey is long, and so much has happened along the way – both good and bad. Some look at my career thinking everything magically happened overnight. Wow! If that were only the case. There were times I thought about tossing out every camera I own and walking away. Persistence kept me going, and believing in myself did wonders. You can read all about the good things that I worked so hard to achieve here – About Mark Paulda
I don’t list the “bad things” in the bio, and in future blog posts, I will address what (and who) to avoid in your photographic journey.
The path to a successful photography career isn’t easy, but in the end, the journey is well worth the effort. I offer a photography mentorship program that is set to launch Autumn 2021. Sign up for the newsletter for updates. Additionally, “How To Build A Photography Business That Lasts – A Mentor Program” – a class designed to help photographers succeed – is offered at Udemy.