Posted In Inspiration

Helping Each Other Grow
The Launch Of A New Movement

Kyle McDougall | June 16, 2016

We all have ideas, dreams, goals. Things that we think about day in and day out that we constantly promise ourselves we’re going to get around to pursuing. In my case (and most likely yours), a number of those ideas and goals are centred around outdoor photography. It’s a passion, that for many, influences a number of actions throughout life, and oftentimes can play a large part in shaping a person’s identity.

Like many other hobbies or passions, what typically starts out as a curiosity with photography, quickly erupts into many other things that were never expected.

A lot of these things are good: relationships, self-discovery, travel, purpose, and growth to name a few. Unfortunately, every passion also comes with a sometimes overwhelming side order of negativity or wasted focus that can stunt growth and even end up influencing people to give up on their dreams completely.

It doesn’t matter if you’re pursuing your artform as a professional career, or if you plan to always keep it as a hobby, there are probably a number of things that you wish you were doing that you’re not. Or, a level of satisfaction that you wish you could maintain consistently that you’re unfortunately only experiencing in waves.

Maybe some of us are better at staying on the positive side of the line than others, but I would say it’s safe to assume that we all deal with similar roadblocks on a fairly consistent basis.

 

Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.Steven Pressfield

 

A Quick Trip Backwards

I’ve been a photographer for over ten years now. Looking back, it’s been a wild journey, with a lot of growth and a number of challenges. There have been times of excitement and discovery, but I’ve also had my fair share of fears, confusion, and hesitation.

After writing that statement and then reading it back, I have to admit, it sounds kind of crazy. I mean, how can something that we all pursue for personal enjoyment become so complicated?

The outdoor photography world is a bit of a strange place, like many other communities I’m sure. All of us who belong to it are after very similar things: self-expression, creation, and connection.

That being said, the larger a community grows, the more complicated it becomes, for both the individuals involved and as a whole.

Without dwelling on the negatives for too long, they’re something that need to be talked about as they’re very real and what played an instrumental role in my decision to create Image & Rhythm. I’ll explain below.

The negatives, in my opinion, come in two forms:

  1. Self-created
  2. Community Created

Self-created negativity includes things like self-doubt in regards to ability and direction, lack of confidence, lack of consistency, comparison, and jealousy.

Community created negativity includes things like non-constructive criticism, judgment, enforcement of “rules”, arguing, bickering, slandering, and activities in general that are a waste of energy and time.

Unfortunately, all of the things listed above are very real, and very present, not just in the photography community, but in life in general.

 

A Shift In Focus

Self-created negativity is always going to be present, but it is controllable, and something that with consistent practice, we can all get better at dealing with. This is so important to realize, as I believe each and every one of us are our own worst enemies when it comes to taking action. Without a consistent effort to positively influence yourself you’re highly likely to let outside sources shape the decisions you make in your life and with your art.

Community created negativity is also always going to be present (unfortunately), but the good thing is that we can simply choose to ignore it and focus our attention elsewhere. The more resources available to influence growth and creativity, the closer we can get to shifting the focus in the photography world.

It’s quite clear that change, support, and education are what’s most important, and my goal with Image & Rhythm is to help saturate the “good” side of the market when it comes to the photography world.

 

IslandProfile

 

What We’re All About

If you’re reading this post on launch day, or many months later, know that the second this website went live was a big moment for me, even though it was far from being the most grandiose event in the photography world.

This endeavour has been a dream and goal of mine for a while now, but the reality is that it didn’t come together easily. Self-inflicted negativity played its part in slowing down the process and testing me mentally. But in all honesty, that only pushed me harder and helped me confirm that this was the right path to take.

You won’t find any contests, rules or debates here, nor will there be any focus on popularity, awards or hierarchies. Rather we choose to focus our energy on helping you become a better and more satisfied photographer. The amazing thing about everyone’s journey in life is that we all get to choose how we spend our time and what we focus our energy on. Since you can only focus on one thing at a time, you might as well empower yourself, rather than bring yourself down.

So with all that being said, I want to welcome you to a community that has been built with the goal of inspiring you to create your best and most honest work, as well as to help push yourself to chase your dreams and goals.

If you’re the type of person who isn’t interested in wasting your energy on the negatives, then bring it here and use it with purpose.

 

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.Sir Cecil Beaton

 

What You Can Find Here

Starting out, every week we’ll be posting one article as outlined below, with the future plan of increasing content to twice a week:

  1. Featured Photographer – Once every two weeks we’ll feature a new photographer from the outdoor/landscape genre. Our goal with each interview is to give a real and honest look at other artists journeys including their struggles, lessons learned, views on creativity and purpose. We want people to be able to relate to one another, understand each other’s decisions and realize that things don’t come easy for anyone. By learning about each person’s unique journey we hope to empower you both creatively and emotionally.
  2. Creative Or Inspirational Article – Once every two weeks we’ll release a new article that focuses on helping you become a better photographer either creatively or mentally. Our goal is to help teach you techniques, approaches, and mindsets that will give you the tools you need to improve your images or your approach. We aren’t looking to tell you why you should do things, rather how you can do them. It’s important to us that we leave the decision making up to you when it comes to personal expression.

 

A Call To Action

I want to take the time to thank you for checking us out and showing an interest in our message. If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance that you’re exactly the type of person that we want to surround ourselves with.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on why photography is so important to you and one current thing you’d like to change. You can let us know in the comment section below or by sending us an email. Also, if you want to stay up to date with all of our content, you can use the sign-up form below. You can also follow us on social media at the links below.

We’re looking forward to making big changes together!

Kyle

 

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4 Comments

  • William June 16, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    For me, photography is a creative expression of those moments I find in life, the big, the grandiose, the magical moments.

    I enjoy capturing and sharing these moments, ideas and thoughts about those experiences in a photograph. What a great medium!

    One thing I need to change is to get shooting more often and to allow the opportunities in more often. I need to say “yes” when people ask for printed images etc.

    Great site Kyle.

    Reply
    • Kyle McDougall June 17, 2016 at 6:29 am

      Thank you William! I’m glad you enjoy the website.

      It sounds like you have a pretty clear understanding of why you photograph, which is awesome! I hear you about letting in opportunities. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to growth.

      All the best!

      Reply
  • Glenn Hubbers June 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Great new addition to the site, Kyle! I’m glad I’m reading it from the ground up and won’t have to catch up later. It’ll be great to see it morph and grow.

    Photography for me satisfies a need for an artistic outlet, something I can pursue solo as well as along with a community of friends. My goals and desires have changed over the years (7) that I’ve taken this on, and I’m finally comfortable with the fact that they will likely continue to do so.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from your efforts here.

    Reply
    • Kyle McDougall June 18, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks for the comment Glenn! Sounds like you have a great understanding of why you photograph. I like how you say you’re “comfortable with the fact that they likely will continue to do so”. That’s so important to embrace!

      Reply

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