As a photographer, you probably already know that it is one of the best professions (or hobbies) out there. We see the world through a different set of eyes. We get to capture incredible moments and meet wonderful people along the way. You also probably know that it can be incredibly daunting at times. Our world is infiltrated by innumerable forms of imagery, and it’s one area that’s increasingly hard to break into.
If you’re sick of the endless barrage of inspiration and goal setting propaganda, we understand. But if there is one last video you watch to help you get a few things figured out, let it be this one. The up and coming talent Ryan Muirhead lends huge insight into becoming a photographer, being honest with yourself, and following your passions—even if you haven’t got life quite figured out yet:
Muirhead’s honest and gentle personality is evident. His outlook on life, refreshing. If you’re a photographer (or in any profession, really) and continuously struggle with questions of where to go in life, this interview just makes sense. Cut the pretentiousness and the clichés—the way Ryan explains himself is relatable and reassuring. It’s always nice to know there are others out there who have had the same feelings and difficulties but slowly and surely have risen above.
Once a lost soul himself, Muirhead found art and photography as a means to express himself. No sugar coating, he explains that it hasn’t been and won’t always be an easy road forward. Touring with The Used, world travels, and a personal print project didn’t come without some serious determination to push through all the BS. He avidly expresses the importance of owning your mistakes and failures—they are part of the journey and can’t be forgotten.
But being present, in the now, with yourself and what you do rings soundly throughout the interview. Contrary to self-help books or inspirational Buzzfeed posts, Muirhead explains that it’s not about defining yourself in what you should be doing, how your future needs to look or in what ways you get yourself there. Rather, it’s about being self-critical, honest, and learning about what it is you want to be doing. Nevermind the guy on Instagram taking fabulous pictures in Bali or Beirut. Forget the Facebook selfie of that dude and the A-list celebrity. “Just be real.” Do what you have to do, and do it with gusto—be it exotic photography adventures or huddled up in the editing suite in sweatpants. Stop trying to impress people and instead create meaningful relationships and experiences with people who are going to help you grow.
“I’m excited about believing that when you’re following something that you care about really really deeply, watching the elements of your life that come into play…. I’m excited to try and stay committed to why I want to do this and being in that space and seeing what happens…I don’t have a life plan and I never have. And it horrified me, and terrified me for most of my life. And now I’m just trying to know that I don’t, but I’m going to try and be a good person and work on things I care about and see what happens.”
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