I've been on my professional photography journey for a little over three years now, and the more experience I get, the more I come across people in all kinds of circumstances. From talented performers and athletes to companies selling all kinds of cool products and services, I love it all! As a photographer, you get to capture a glimpse at people doing amazing things, and you see and touch lives of people you never would have met otherwise.
I recently embarked on a year-long project to capture images of a family farm that is being sold off for development. They want to have professional landscape shots captured to preserve memories of a farm that has been in their family for generations. Great grandma, grandma and grandpa still live on the farm, so I've had a chance to learn about their lives on the farm for the last 90 years, and I suspect I'll have made some good friends by the time the project is completed. This is so much more than just taking beautiful landscape pictures. It's about capturing the places and things that made this place home for generations. I'm honored that they trust me to do that for them.
Another really cool example of photography taking me where I wouldn't have gone otherwise was a photo shoot for an article in a local magazine. I met a U.S. Marine pilot who took me for a flight in an amazing little aircraft called the ICON A5. We flew over and landed on the local lake. It was a really cool experience, and I met a great guy who served our country. Photography did that for me!
One last example was a photo shoot with Luke Maye from the UNC Tarheels basketball team. I had the unique opportunity to spend time with a wonderful student athlete that walked on to a Division 1 basketball team and made the national stage before his senior year by helping his team win the championship. His belief in himself and others is unbelievably inspiring. His work ethic and humility should be a lesson to all people who make it to the spotlight. If I had not started my photography journey, this never would have happened.
I've worked hard, spent lots of time and money to compete as a professional photographer, and pledged to continually get better at my craft. If you're committed to making it as a pro, remember this...your passion for your craft is important, but your passion for the journey is priceless. Seeking out new opportunities to broaden your world view and meeting people doing amazing things will keep your fire burning for photography for many years to come.
- Brant Waldeck
Brant is a published professional photographer and photography teacher living in Huntersville, NC with his wife and three kids.