There’s a great inspirational booklet called “Bits and Pieces” which issues a short magazine every month, giving you little nuggets of wisdom from past and present notables, stories and parables to inspire, and everything in between. On reading one of my recent issues, I came across a great quote from Howard Thurman, a Clergyman of the 1900’s. His quote:
“Follow the grain in your own wood”
Think about that statement for a minute. What does it make you think of? Any particular images come to mind? Any sort of emotional response? It brought a few images (although one in particular stood out for me) and thoughts to my mind. I’d like to share the latter part of that first. As far as axioms go, this is probably one of the most common ones – from Mr. Thurman’s verbiage to other ones we hear, such as “find your own path”, and “beat to your own drum”, and countless others. What makes this so common is the fact that it rings so true. Not only is it about definition of self, but it’s also about being proud of that self. We all may struggle with defining ourselves and our craft, but staying true to that self is of utmost importance. It’s one thing to want to improve through critique and analysis from others, but to yield your own sense of identity to what others say is “right” or “wrong” sacrifices something important from within.
The whole purpose in becoming better at photography is to refine your craft. The craft is still yours though, and your vision should shine through in your work. For today, the purpose behind the post is to remind us to stay true to ourselves. Remember why you got into photography in the first place. Enjoy the craft and share your vision with the world, whether it be landscapes, portraits, events, or journalistic perspectives. With that, I’d like to share my own vision that first hit me when I read the axiom from Mr. Thurman to “Follow your own grain of wood”:
What are your thoughts on the image? The axiom? Sound off in the comments – because, as always, I enjoy the discussions that arise from these hopefully thought-provoking posts.