Who Wins Talent or Hard Work in Photography?

Who Wins Talent or Hard Work in Photography?

Can you be successful without talent, just with hard work? There are numerous people who say it is impossible. This claim is found more often than anywhere else in photography. But is that really true? Shouldn’t you even start if you don’t have a lot of talent for it?

And what is talent anyway? Is it enough when your grandma says “you take nice photos”?

What is talent anyway?

Let’s start with this question.

According to Wikipedia, this is the definition of talent:

With talent, one aspect is referred to, which contributes to a special performance of a person in a particular field. In contrast to acquired knowledge and skills acquired through practice, talent is a person’s special ability to make progress comparatively quickly in the relevant field and to be able to achieve an above-average level of performance.

OK. So the ability of a person to make progress comparatively quickly in a field and to achieve an above-average level of performance.

But what’s the point if you don’t put in the hard work? Is a feeling for image composition and moment, i.e. a talent for photography, sufficient to be successful in it? Become a superhero with relatively little effort?

Not at all!

Even if it cannot be ruled out that such cases exist. But there are also people who have come to a lottery six without any work. Nevertheless, we would not build our financial future and the security of our families on the probability of having a lottery six. At least not if we are sane. So why rely on the fact that we can only be successful in anything with extraordinary talent?

Far too many people lean back and tell themselves, “Unfortunately, I don’t have any talents, that’s why it won’t work”. If this article moves just one person, i.e. you, to rethink, then it was all worth the effort.

I have often seen talent even get in the way of some people. And I’m not at all sure that I’m not even talking about an earlier self, among other things.

The predisposition to a certain activity can lead to the fact that one becomes too lazy to become really outstanding at it under the wrong environmental conditions e.g. lack of leadership. Or if it’s not laziness, then possibly some kind of self-sabotage.

It can be almost more difficult for someone with a gift to put in hard work than for someone who is fully aware that they have no talent for photography and are forced to work hard for it.

I also claim, from my own experience that there are also different types of talent. One variant is innate talent. Although that’s not entirely true, a baby doesn’t just come and take photos. But you already know what I mean. Small children who pick something up, be it an instrument or a camera, and learn to use it surprisingly quickly.

Especially with children, however, this often comes from the ease with which they approach things. As adults, we lose that ease too often. Before we learn something new, we think about whether we can do it at all. There are far too many uncertainties in our heads. With this we take the attention and the energy to learn quickly.

If we keep this ability or restore it, we can still discover new talents as adults. By simply taking the first step, that is interest.

If we are genuinely interested in a thing like photography without all that trash, then we are 100% focused on it. No questions like “well, but can I make a living from it” or “there are so many who are better than me, it won’t be embarrassing” etc., just the pure focus on the matter. Suddenly we learned the first steps faster than we thought. And someone next to us is already talking about talent. “Oh, wow, you learned that really quickly, but you have a lot of talent, make something of it”.

We are already motivated.

But regardless of whether we were born with the talent or learned it along the way, it doesn’t determine whether we will be successful with it. Our talent as photographers will hardly have any impact on whether we really earn a living with photography or even become really good at our hobby as an amateur. The decisive factor is and it remains.


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