Photography – you gotta work at it. Mike Browne Photography Coaching


something I’m noticing increasingly in
the world today is how we are addicted to instant gratification we want
pictures without any work when you look on Facebook and social media you may
notice there’s all these ads coming on for programs that will take your crappy
landscape picture and turn it into something astonishing
well how much gratification is there in that because you haven’t done it and
somebody else has done it for you a bunch of programmers somewhere else did
it for you there’s people who want to take stunning
images they buy the most expensive camera excuse me and then go for a walk
with the dog in the park on a drizzly day somewhere in the UK in the autumn
and expect a breathtaking picture well no you need to put a bit more work and
effort into it than that you need to go somewhere where the cool stuff
happening but you also have to know your camera you have to know what it is that
you’re doing what it is that you want so how do you learn photography well that
is also part of this journey because camera manufactures will tell you that
if you buy their camera with this doodad gadget or whiz-bang thing then you’re
going to be brilliant to it photography well it’s not true there’s only about
five controls on a camera you actually need to know how to use and they’re
covered in my beginners course for goodness sake they’re really not that
advanced and all the cameras doing is juggling those around it’s about how
much effort you put in so how did I learn photography it’s a question I get
quite a lot well I was into photography as a hobby I wasn’t particularly good at
it but then I had a life-changing conversation with somebody that led me
to to think yeah you know I’m gonna take this on so basically I spent a year I I
was unemployed so I was on income support I told the Employment Services
what I was doing so they want to get any trouble I said I want to retrain and
they said in those days they were very helpful they said yeah no worries so I
spent a year just reading books and practicing I got myself a number a job
carrying the bags for a professional photographer because I just wanted to be
in that environment you know I just wanted to see what it was like
when I did get a little bit of money for the occasional job I went and told him
ployment services because I want to get in there any trouble and they were
completely brilliant as long as he declared it now an interesting thing I
find in this is confidence because for many many many years actually after I
got going I really had trouble saying I’m a photographer of just standing tall
and going you know it was sort of said what do you do for a living I’m a
photographer I would get really rather hung up and say things like whoa no no I
take a few pictures and stuff like that and kind of squirmed a bit I don’t know
why maybe it’s because that goal that dream was possibly a little bit too big
for me initially the thing is you mustn’t be scared of your goal or your
dream I had spent what six months photographing weddings with my then
mentor Billie passatti at part for the graphics in Southampton who is just a
loveliest guy and he was sort of my surrogate father sadly he died some
years ago but we were having loads of fun and I used to photograph weddings
with Billy but I didn’t have to take the responsibility I was really confident we
were shooting great pictures I’d learnt loads but then I had that first wedding
on my own where I did have to take responsibility and trust me it’s one of
the scariest things I’ve ever done the sweat was just running down my back you
know I just thought what if I stuff this out this is a milestone event in
somebody’s life this isn’t just me taking pretty pictures this is big stuff
this is grown-up this is important it’s interesting how we move on from that by
stretching ourselves by putting in some work by putting in some effort not
looking for instant gratification you can then move forward and you can kind
of go beyond that fear part you’ve probably seen me in various videos over
the years with my screensaver on I get a lot of questions about it and all those
pictures going back and forth and you know what this is the whole news tree
sometimes I lean in the doorway of the office and I just I stand and I stare at
that screensaver and I think back to that first wedding and that’s sweat
running down the back of my neck and I think wow what a journey
that’s what I would say is gratification you mustn’t be lazy you’ve got a to have
that feeling of wow what a journey to actually stop for a moment and look at
yourself and think you know why I have grown a lot you’ve got to put in the
work you’ve got to give up the instant gratification so how do you do that well
personally I was always looking for inspiration I seek it out YouTube is a
wonderful place for inspiration is packed with the most inspirational
people from people you know like climbing mountains but they haven’t got
any legs to – I don’t know what I can’t think of any Tony Robbins as a go-to guy
for me I just love listening to him speak and listen to him tackle things
and the way things because remember everything in the world begins with a
thought up in here the very fact you’re watching this video is because at some
point in time somebody had a thought they thought wouldn’t be cool if we
could watch some videos online if somebody hadn’t had that thought we
wouldn’t have the internet you wouldn’t be watching this video seek out
inspiration a current favorite of mine right now right at the moment he’s Elon
Musk I mean for goodness sake you imagine it he stood there saying I’m
gonna create reusable rockets and we’re gonna fly to Mars and to begin with
people together yeah right I’m a you know and they’re gonna walk off out the
other way and now he’s created reusable rockets and a whole bunch of other stuff
how does that man think you know I love watching you on musk at the moment
listening to him because it’s a lesson for me and it inspires me to try and be
better to try and go a bit further to have a purpose and a goal it’s important
set yourself a goal because I don’t know what that goal might be for you it could
just be – I know maybe you want to win the camera club competition maybe you
want to see your work published in a magazine I don’t know what it is but set
yourself a goal because it will help you define your purpose and to reach your
goal I recommend you ask yourself some very powerful questions don’t ask other
people don’t go to your friends don’t give your family don’t know other people
saying you know what do you think I should do how am I going to do this is
this the best idea should I do something different
ask yourself because only you know what is that you love and the only way you’re
going to discover how to find it is to ask yourself powerful questions do I
really want to do this that’s a good one if the answers yes it’s like okay how do
I do it don’t go straightaway into that all the reasons you can’t so let’s say
you’re thinking you know why I want to go hiking in the pool and I want to
photograph the Himalayas and then instantly there’s a million reasons why
you can’t do it immediately you just go off into we go off on sorry I’m not
going to say you we human beings go off into a tailspin about our yeah but it’s
expensive and I can’t get the time off work and it’s probably dangerous and
somebody might kill me because it’s a different culture whatever that story
may be for each of us as individuals but the thing is ignore those little voices
and just go I want to go and do it so go and do it because you know what very
often when you go to climb the mountain you find that the mountain is far less
scary then your imagination ever made it to be so what is it that you love and
why and where can you find that now I know that I’m being very life-coaching
here but this really is about anything in life but we’re talking about
photographers here and trust me camera settings are just a tiny teeny
little step to that purpose to what you want to do it’s no point knowing exactly
how you’re I don’t know hyperfocal distance works or your camera operates
in multi point autofocus mega zillion mode or something if you’re just
standing in a car park in the rain you’ve got to put the effort in to make
something happen to go somewhere that inspires you Nepal might be nothing for
you your idea of heaven might be just sitting in the corner in the local Zoo
watching what the monkeys are doing and waiting for those great little moments
there’s a lady called Pauline who came on my beginners workshop some years ago
and if you’re watching this Pauline I know you’re squirming but Pauline came
on my one day beginners workshop some time ago she’s never done any of my
downloadable courses what she has done is she has worked and worked and worked
and worked she amongst other things works as a
shepherd s because she loves it and she has become a master of what
she photographs if I say to you sheet pitches that just sounds like yeah
really pictures of sheep and your mom just you know look at her Pauline is
amazing her photography is brilliant she has invested the time she’s gone to the
place where there’s things that she finds fascinating in she loves she’s
learnt how to photograph it what the lights doing where it’s coming from the
optimum moment to press the shutter so it’s important that you understand why
you love what you do as well so I know this could be taken as just being a job
but I mean you know why do you love what you do and I’m talking photography here
why is it that you love it what is it about it that excites you what is it
that lights your light I was a general photographer you know professional
photographer for many many years and I still do the occasional commercial shoot
I’m lucky enough now that criteria are that it’s going to be interesting it’s
going to be enjoyable and I’m going to like doing it otherwise I’m not gonna
touch I don’t know how much money you throw at me I’m not gonna touch it
unless it’s gonna fulfill those three but what I’ve learned now is that I love
playing a part in Eureka moments it’s now the teaching of the photography it’s
the sharing of my knowledge and the experiences that I’ve had that actually
lights my light I’m incredibly lucky in that I had an interview with 500px and
they okayed who interviewed me said that many photographers have become trainers
because they’ve had to because the photography industry as a whole is
constrainted but he called me an educator by choice and I think that’s
true because I did look at teaching because I was getting bored with the
photography it wasn’t a case of I wanted to do that okay so what does this got to
do with your photography well where do you want to go with it what is your
purpose what is your goal ask yourself those questions and look for the answers
within you not in other people not in other things and don’t start looking at
all the reasons why you can’t achieve those things and it’s not about your
camera kit or let me say this it’s very rare
about your camera kit very often any old camera will do a cameras the cameras a
cameras a camera every week I’m asked many times shall I buy this camera or
that camera or is the I’ve got an 18 to 55 so do I need an 18 to 200 mm
lens and is that lens but generally speaking it makes no difference
they don’t make crap cameras anymore because social media has done away with
that if a company make a totally rubbish camera and everybody in the world is
going that thing’s rubbish it’s gonna disappear it’s going to go out of
business very quickly it’s gonna get recalled so ain’t gonna happen just know
what it is that excites you and take steps towards reaching it and stop
worrying about the camera so much don’t be lazy
whatever advertisers say instant results have no lasting gratification if you do
put your images into some piece of software that takes a really badly shot
in bad light image and it turns it into something amazing okay you’ve got very
short-lived gratification you might be able to say this is my photo but in your
heart inside you know that’s not your photo that’s a picture that was average
– okay and you’ve got a piece of software somewhere to turn it into
something it’s not your work that’s not true gratification is it so be careful
of instant gratification and don’t be afraid to put in the work because here’s
the thing instant gratification it just blows away like a fart in the wind trust
me I’m sorry guys you are responsible so you are the ones who have to take action
and choose what it is that you want to do what it is that you want to achieve
and very importantly choose something where you’re going to enjoy the journey
now I’m not saying there won’t be setbacks along the way I’m not saying
that everything is going to be hunky-dory and perfect they will be
setbacks there will be problems there will be issues but you know what is
those problems and issues and setbacks the you overcome by doing whatever it
takes by reading books by looking at magazines by watching YouTube videos by
buying a workshop buying a course they’re all overcome a ball it’s just up
to you to take responsibility to do it and by doing it that is what’s going to
give you the fulfillment that is what’s going to have you be able to lean in the
door of your office and look at the screen
saver r on your computer and just take a moment and go wow what a journey I’ve
been on

100 Replies to “Photography – you gotta work at it. Mike Browne Photography Coaching”

  1. Hi Mike- just found this vid and your chanel. Wow -so true what you say, I stopped buying camera mags -sick of hearing "you must have this dslr/this lens/shoot raw/ use photoshop or lightroom blah blah blah! Im happy with my camera, I understand it, and now I feel its up to me to get the best from it! So glad I clicked on your link!

  2. my photography mentor appreciation my life mentor. Elon and you have both taught me to dream and go after it headstrong! Keep inspiring!

  3. Really powerful and very inspirational video, some serious thinking and decisions to consider over the next couple of days. Thanks Mike this video has really opened my eyes, not just regarding my photography but with other stuff as well. Have a great weekend!!

  4. I like this channel very much. Also, have a look at the following photo vlogger, Lewis von John (X-T2, A7Riii, GFX, 4×5, etc.): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPNxkIstAscwDwXuj4lgbUg

  5. Man..you are gold!!..best teacher on photagraphy on YouTube period!!!..been whatching you for YEARS!!!..I have been telling my friends and other folks who look into photagraphy to check you out..your play list alone is priceless information!!!!..thanks for all you do brother!!!

  6. I have a Class 10 32GB Micro SD Card. Can I use it as back up storage with an adapter, will I have any performance issues?

  7. Nicely said Mike – have you heard Allan Watts talk about the need for skills / capability? You'd enjoy it I think.

    Keep up the good work!

  8. You are an inspiration to many photographers, whether amateur or advancing. Your perspective on 'finding' that shot, is second to none. It is right that not all things revolve around camera settings or equipment specs, but the ability to see the image before you finally click the shutter. Sometimes they fail, too dark, too light, composition all wrong, but that was the keeness to click too fast, patience and retakes are something we all learn from, failure teaches us success. You have done it, we have done it, but the patience and perseverance to never give up, will get you that dream shot.

  9. I decided to earn money off my photography at the start of 2017.

    So far I have had 1 paying client (few time wasters!!) But will not give up.

    Day job keeps me ticking over but the journey has just begun and every setback is followed by a stride forwards.

    Learn and do…. then you succeed.

  10. Great informative video mike, I'm still looking for inspiration,think I need a kick up the arse! As I said before I'm just a novice looking for inspiration but alas I haven't found it yet!! I would like to photograph landscapes but it's finding the time! ( here I go making excuses) as you said only I can take that step. You never know one day I might succeed. Regards mac.

  11. Thank you so so much for the inspiration. Your definitely are a great lifecoach. Everything you said applies to many major decisions in life – not only for photography.

  12. Wonderful video. A few years ago after a life experience I started photography full time. Best decision I've made in a long time. Excellent message Mike.

  13. To be honest I started taking more photos since I bought a Nikon had a 15 yr old Sony cyber shot that collected dust and I got rid off it. DSLR or totally different than point shoot cameras which made me dig deeper in photography to learn more how to use them. I guess you tools grows with you. I'm happy to find this channel

  14. You are a superb trainer Mike. Love the way you describe steps. I have just started photography so what book should I prefer?? Please suggest.

  15. Hi Mike,thanks for your interesting video!I have several things to say but I'm now going out so I'll leave it for another day.Bye!

  16. If you ever get complacent with your camera ability, go and try to photo a heron…as close as you can…case closed. So many great photos have yet to be taken…I hope.

  17. I really learned a lot from you video but I think You need to lower your mic volume or something because we can hear you breathing

  18. This comment has nothing to do with photography but I have to say, you look like you lost a bit of weight over the years..looking great. The last video I saw of you was 3 years ago.

  19. mike has been trying to work out how to get the line " like a fart in the wind" into a video for ages.

    there are alot of people that think money will make them a photographier.
    buying the most up to date camera will improve the pictures you take.
    its like keeping up with the jones. its like the new iphone X it has nothing new really. but it is new and it has a name so were buying it. it costs alot of money so its better than any other phone you can look at the same thing with new cameras
    So the d850 is out so all other ones before this are now not as good even if they are identical in specs.
    some people need to have the newest item is there down fall.

  20. Damn!
    I started photography around 2 years ago and fell in love with it.
    It pushed me to look for shots and moments, as to go up in the mountain and sleep in the best hotel in the world: my tent under the stars. And be able to witness 3 magical moments as sunset, Milkyway and sunrise all in less than 7 hours.

    Though I'm 25 and "just" started my career in IT, and i found myself dreaming, with the attitude you described in the video. You kind of gave me tears!

  21. My photos are far from perfect but I found that I improved when I released that learning the technical and compositional aspects of the photography will not alone create great photos. I needed to see that potential capture in front of me and visualize or understand what is necessary to turn it into a great photo. What makes a successful photo is not simply capturing Yosemite but rather capturing the essence of what it was that made the scene move me. Then at that point I can use my technical and compositional skills taught to me by Mike Brown and proceed to capture that image that I will be proud of.

  22. It’s Hard work, listening to those missed opportunities that if we allow, will grow us forward and become wiser, more humble people. Love your videos and will keep on-keepin on! Thanks for this video!

  23. I love cars, always have since i understand what a car is. Last night i went to a local end of year car meet and took photo till my two battery went flat (sony battery life really suck haha). Had the most amazing experience there, while i was walking around taking photo of a old toyota Ke70, the owner approached me and say "hay, u are the only person taking photo of my car, can you take some more and send it to me?" so we started talking about cars, then i tries my best taking the best photos i could, and i kind of felt that pressure you spoke of, what if i stuff this up, what if my photo don't do the old classic justice… Fortunately i got a couple cool shots where both him and me were really hapoy with! And he was not the only one, few people approached me with same request, and i had so much fun trying my best to do those beautiful cars justice! Most of the shot was to be honest pretty bad, but they were all really cool and supportive about it! It's the first time i had such a thrilled feeling, and from that experience i think i have establish, or at least got a light on what photography really means to me and what makes me "click"…

  24. I have spent 16 months putting 16000 images through my A77ii; using much less expensive, but wonderful Minolta lenses. I find it very difficult to articulate what my interests are because they cover a wide range; landscape, macro, glass, rocks, textures, urban, etc. I'm not really interested in portraiture. or fashion photography. I have, however find myself returning to self publishing my images, using Blurb.com for instance. I have noticed that the image quality of my recent images have vastly improved over those of last year; and I have set myself a goal of organising and publishing one, or m ore photo albums.
    I'm always looking for unusual perspectives; or unexpected events, large and very small.
    Thanks for the assistance you didn't know you were giving me. lol

  25. Mike, I just want to say what a big fan I am of yours. I love the way you carry yourself and the way you explain things. I bought one of your courses (7 Building Blocks of Photography) and loved it. You helped me tons. Just saying that outside of the UK (I live in Hingham MA USA) you have a follower. Thank you for all the time you have put into making these videos helping to make both myself and others better photographers.

  26. Great inspiring video you did, Mike; but (there always is a "but"… )
    My take on the instant gratification thingy: The sales pitch being there IS a magical camera/ lens/ software/ preset, which turns you crappy fall noon dog- walk picture into an Ansel Adams "Aspens" image.
    If your image still looks like crap, then you just haven't bought the right thingy – yet.
    Of course, fact is: you can't polish poo.

  27. Listened and watched (again) some of your videos last week, while I was decorating the dining room. You are the first stop for anyone who picks up a camera and wants to improve. It's the simplicity, I mean that kindly, of your vlogs and how they inspire people to get out there and PRACTICE their skills. Went out this morning in a snow storm, got the camera wet but enjoyed every moment. You are BRILLIANT!

  28. loved this video. on point with comments about working hard and not giving up and continuous learning.keep teaching Mike

  29. You really are quite right. Maybe people should start by photographing with film cameras and that way they could learn. Film photography is my foundation in the world of photography and I have learned so much. Now I do shoot both film and digital photography. I have a great respect for this type of discipline as a profession, art form and a personal gratification. Cheers, Flood!

  30. That's exactly what I do… I read books, magazines and watch YouTube videos to keep me going… always learn something new… photography is endless, there's always something to shoot and be proud of your work 😁

  31. You are hands down, the best photography vlogger! I can watch and listen to your teachings all day. But I’ve got to get some shots in, right? Thanks for everything you do Mike!

  32. Its not that i dont beleive in myself…its just that life is to short to do all the things i want.

  33. Excellent thanks for sharing this. “Everything begins with a thought” “set yourself a goal” – so much wisdom here love it

  34. Love from Nepal Mike. I've learned a lot from your videos as a beginner. You explain such details about photography that no one would explain in free videos. And your presentation skills are at another level. Lots of respect.

  35. It never ceases to amaze me how many people argue specs of the latest camera, when they are not good enough for it to make any difference to their photography. I know I’m certainly not good enough for it to make any difference for me, so I went backwards and partially went back to analogue where it has to be right in camera (rarely is) and I need to slow down and think. My wife his hemiparuplegic, I have a very unusual respiratory condition and upper body weakness. This means some choices are taken away from us, I can’t climb Ben Nevis, but I can look at a leaf next to the car and see Ben Nevis in the background. I can load up my scooter and use the hides on RSPB sites and see a mallard display a behaviour. Even if you have real reasons for not doing something, there is always a work around so you can get to your own destination. A superb video, thank you.

  36. Wow, very inspirational. I like the journey itself. The little steps of progress each time, it feels great to figure out things and to improve slowly. Being outside in nature, standing in the middle of nowhere before dawn and watching the sunrise, later on, the peace and quiet, only sounds of birds or other animals, that is the best thing while being part of that scene with my camera. It is a struggle to get up that early but I just figured it is my favourite time of day. Even if the pictures do not turn out as I wanted them instantly, I simply try again. 😉 Your videos here are great and very helpful.

  37. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try I'm only just getting this, Well done mike a great video. Thanks a lot.

  38. Photography – you've gotta work at it..

    That should be a life mantra.. Every time you take that camera out, you gain experience, you learn – it's a lifelong thing..

    Dictionary: photographer – a person who takes pictures, especially for business.

    It doesn't have to be business – as long as it's not a point and click camera and your activity taking photos, you are by definition a photographer – be proud of it..

    Gratification from apps: using apps may be fine for blundered photos, but it's really quite fake and as a photographer you/We should know that..

    I hate those little filter things that come up on apps and very rarely use them. I rely on my knowledge (limited) of photography to instinctively set the right settings and if I make a small mistake, I adjust in post (always shooting raw&jpeg). The ones that are bad, dump 'em and learn.. No one takes perfect photos 100% of the time, that's why you hear paparazzi – click, click, click, not just click – their looking for 1 good picture in maybe 20…

  39. this is funny cos i just text my wife , we are going to go to the park today a drizzly UK overcast day) and take our cameras lol..

  40. Only when you know who you are, then , you can plan for who you want to be . Utopia or Evanescence aside, the fact still remains, Life moves on and Time stands still.

    lunga vita vivi …..

  41. I am finding it hard , Watching all of your many videos…Rest assured I will view them all , one at a time .
    I will take my time to absorb and understand your teachings and your philosophy on life, Of which I find fascinating.
    I find that you have a remarkable vista of life, One I wish to posses , sadly I am of a later disposition so my learning disability is at a premium . Never the less, Your celebration of life is remarkable and i hope it carries on for a lifetime .
    Thank you Mr brown,
    You are an inspiration

  42. This channel really grew on me. I love your style and content and how you don't pump out 200 reviews and comparisons a week like many others do. The personal touch in this video and your story make me smile. "You mustn't be lazy" is probably the only thing I would get tattooed 😀

  43. As Homer Simpson said 'If it's too hard, it's not worth doing'. Only joking. Reward is a direct reflection of effort.

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