Rule 26: Never Spend As Much Time Reading About Photography As You Do Photographing

You talkin' to ME?

Wow, that’s a mouthful.

It’s also the reason that The First 10,000 has been on something of a hiatus. Between the winter months, and life just being what it is, I haven’t been doing as much photography as I had been when the weather was warmer and I wasn’t quite as busy with… well, stuff. Which brings me to a broader point:

I find it hard to justify writing about photography when I haven’t been photographing much. And therein lies a nugget of wisdom (hey, humor me) that I’d like you to take to heart. Most of us have “day jobs” and other interests outside of photography. With that said, since the only way to be a photographer is by taking pictures, at some point you either have to start taking pictures, or put that whole calling-yourself-a-photographer thing on pause for a bit. It’s not the writing about, or reading about, something that makes you that thing; it’s the doing of that thing.

It’s all well and good to read up on your hobby (or profession, if any professionals actually read this thing). But without the craft itself, you’ve precious little about which to write, and the reading… well, again, it’s not the reading that’s going to improve your craft, since at some point the stuff you’ve read has to be realized — that is to say, made real. Why spend time reading about the great photos someone else is making? Get your ass out there and make your own!

With that said, and now that I’m out in the wild* again with my camera, I think it’s safe to say that we’re back, and will be posting on a regular basis again. Thanks to those of you who’ve been patient during the break, and those who’ve been kind enough to send encouraging thoughts in my general direction. Those little pokes — and the little reminders that someone does, in fact, read this stuff, are a great source of encouragement.

*If by “the wild” you mean “New Jersey.” There are those who’d argue they’re one and the same.

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