Working in a creative industry like photography can be tough. Especially as at times we work alone and sometimes that means it is difficult to motivate yourself. So where do I go to seek my inspiration and motivation? Well there are several places, but I want to focus in this blog post on just one. I listen to the Martin Bailey Photography Podcast.
I have been a regular listener to Martin’s podcast for about the last 8 or 9 years. He has been releasing podcasts on a weekly basis since 2005 and within the next few months will be releasing his 500th podcast. Martin’s is the only photography podcast I listen to (I know I should listen to more but that’s how it is). The only problem is that over the 8 or 9 years I’ve been listening I have been consistently 1-2 years behind. I started listening at episode 1 when he was releasing episode 30 something. I have never quite caught up. I am currently listening to June 2014!
Let me tell you a little bit about Martin Bailey. Martin is originally from the UK but now lives and works in Tokyo and has taken Japanese citizenship. On his website Martin describes himself as a “Nature and Wildlife” photographer – which oddly are two areas of photography that I very rarely get involved with.
So what is it about Martin’s podcasts that I find inspirational? Well first of all he is an amazing photographer and his wildlife and landscape images are simply stunning. For me, I prefer to look at great photographs in a genre I don’t work in, when I look at great studio work, or great theatre images, I tend to compare it to my own work and feel I could never be that good and go away a little downhearted. Also either consciously or sub-consciously I end up mimicking the style. Because Martin’s work is so different to anything I will ever shoot I can take the lessons from the images and apply it to my own work in my own style.
Next, Martin is a passionate educator. As you know I love sharing knowledge and encouraging other photographers. I get a real buzz when I see photographers suddenly grasp a technique I’ve been explaining at my workshops or events. Or when I see the work of photographers improve as a direct result of my training courses or when someone comes up to me and proudly shows me an image they have taken and tells me that they used a technique I had spoken about in one of my lectures. I can sense the same passion in Martin when he talks in his podcasts about the training he runs.
Martin is honest – he doesn’t just talk about his successes he talks about his failures too – I’ve just been listening to his podcast about time management – and found myself repeatably thinking “oh yes, been there” and “at least it’s not only me that does that”. Knowing I am not the only person to get things wrong helps – and listening to others talk about how they have used failures give me more techniques to overcome and learn from future failures.
I could go on. I feel I have a lot in common with Martin – we are of a similar age, both came out of the IT industry to follow a passion for photography, both from the UK (but I’m still here!), have a passion for travel photography (the one area where our photographic genres overlap), and both passionate about training and communicating. He has his weekly podcast – I have my (mostly) weekly email newsletter.
I have been recommending Martin’s podcast to photographers for years. If you haven’t come across it before or don’t listen to it – it is worth taking the time out to do so. You will be inspired. Oh yes, and please remember one thing…. no spoilers – I’m still a year behind in my listening.
Martin’s main website can be found here: http://www.martinbaileyphotography.com/