I’ve heard it said to many times now, from photographers, inspirational speakers and writers. if you’re not getting the fulfilment or your not excited about where you are, then stop and move toward your dream of doing what you love and build your brand!
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Sometimes I think our decisions are clouded by concerns of what might happen. We worry about finance, where’s the money going to come from and of course we listen to too much detrimental and negative comment. We effectively live in a world of materialistic themes. But if you take a moment to think about it, if we were to work at our ‘dream’ and create a lifestyle from that, then maybe the financial reward will follow. Obviously there is a time to do this. Either its early in your life when you don’t have the commitments of dependents or later when you retire! But leaving the decision later after you retire, your passion may have left you!
It became clear to me as my discussion with this weeks guest Alain Briot developed, these issues were exactly what he and his wife had considered. Alain was in that very same boat when studying a Ph.D. in the US. His enjoyment for that degree, had gone. He had a stronger passion to take photographs! This could be thought as fool hardy to some, by rejecting what could be considered a safe and reliant income, for a route of uncertainty and an attitude of what will be will be! But, if you are confident in your abilities and you think that that will lead to a more fulfilling life than work drudgery, then you can understand why some people make this choice. The choice is made not about money (with hope and ability that will follow) its about enjoying and creating a lifestyle and in some cases answering to none but yourself.
Alain Briot was born in France and studied art from an early age. HIs mother was an artist, his father an engineer. From school he went on to study Art at college in Paris. He moved to the US to study a Ph.D. in 1986. Leaving the degree study in Michigan he moved to be close to the National Parks, Navojoland, the Grand Canyon, as well as being able to visit Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. It was his interest in art that is reflected in his photography work. Similar to Karen Hutton, Alain creates photographs of what he sees in his mind and not what is actually there. He brings an artistry to his images by spending, sometimes, many hours editing the images in Photoshop. From an early stage Alain established himself as a producer of fine art landscape prints. Initially contracted to produce images for the Grand Canyon his print selling side of his business developed extensively. So much so that he took decision just a few years ago to slow the print selling down and preferring to produce 'Quality not Quantity', effectively by raising prices, which by the way didn’t deter buyers, thus enabling him to have more time and to develop other options such as writing, setting up workshops and tutoring.
Taking a look at Alain’s work on the screen share you can see how his desire to create art in photography has been achieved. The stunning landscapes of the regions, he is associated with, are of the highest quality. Working with either a Digital back medium format camera or a Full Frame DSLR with a selection of lenses one of which the fish eye being a favourite. He likes to create composites images as well as stitching or forming panoramas.
It isn’t a surprise, that with Alain’s background in the study of Art, that he finds his inspiration is from the artist's such as Cezanne and Picasso. In passing he mentioned that all photographers should look at the work of the famous artists, to learn about light and composition! But surprisingly he didn’t have a favourite photographer although he did realise there are so many great photographers out there.
It was fascinating talking to Alain. Sometimes you just have to go with your feelings. Life is too short some will say. Power to those that go for it…
Until next time… “Leave your camera bag at home”
The all important links:
Photography Live and Uncut episode no 67 with Alain Briot.
The website for Alain Briot
Alain on Facebook
Alain on Flickr
Alain on Google+
Alain on Twitter
Alain on Pinterest
Alain on 500px