Oct 2020
Take The Scenic Route
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I love the Do Book Co. I have nearly every single one of their books. I love to read, to learn and to see the world as others see it.

I also love to take photos.  Just for me. Just on my iPhone. So, when the latest Do Book Co publication, Do Photo by the photographer, Andrew Paynter was published recently I ordered it.

I had some expectations.  I expected to find out how Andrew saw his craft.  How he viewed the art that he creates.  I got all of that.  But there was so much more and that’s why I love this series of books.

Photography and more

In each chapter I found myself increasingly reflecting on the relevance of what Andrew was saying that went beyond photography.  The essence of how he has developed his skill, refined his art and focused on what’s important to him.

Less compromise. Less doing it for the money. He put’s it so much better than I could in his own words:

Ultimately, you want to be hired for what you do best – the work you’re passionate about. So it’s okay to be picky about what projects you sign up for and where you dedicate your time.  Whenever you’re presented with an opportunity, think about how the project will impact you, your creativity, and your ongoing work.

Being mindful about the type of work that you choose to do is of course relevant to us all.  The idea that we have choice.  That we are each a volunteer in the endeavours we take on.  In what we choose to do with our time. Our precious, limited time.

Andrew continues:

Contemplate whether or not it will lead to more work in that field, or with that group of people. And, most importantly, figure out if it will bring you closer to what you love to do.  If the answer is no, sometimes it’s better to walk away.

Saying no. Realising you have choice. Focussing on what you love to do. These are all the hallmarks of those that respect and appreciate the talent that they are blessed with. For such talent can’t be wasted.

Talent & Time

Talent and time – two of the most precious commodities we have.  Not to be traded or trifled with. In reading Do Photo, it was clear to me that Andrew wastes neither.

I have always been a fan of challenging the “what’s in it for me” cultures with the far better question, “what of me is in it”.  I am sure that if you bring yourself to what you do it creates far more satisfaction and yields even greater results.  Andrew nails it with this:

Over the course of my career, I’ve learned that the more you pour yourself into your work, the more it will give back to you. So if all else fails, invest in your projects.  Build your relationships. And take the scenic route. Short-terms and beginnings are overrated.”

Whether or not you are a photographer or even like taking pictures, I recommend that you read this book. In a plain, unselfish style we get to glimpse someone in tune with who they are, what they do and why they do it.  And I was grateful to let that be a lesson to me.