Fighting David duChemin in Roma
Sean Howard

“…to become more comfortable and talented at taking portraits of strangers.”

I’m about to take issue with one word in this sentence… And it’s only because it’s something I hear every single day…!

You cannot become more talented… You can only become more skilled at using your talent.

Talent is something you are born with… Skill? takes hours and HOURS to hone that talent to a fine tune and allow you to use it as you were meant to. It, skill that is…, also requires that you step out of your comfort zone and explore areas that you may or may not wish to explore…!

In my job, I am the front line for people who wish to work at the place where I’ve had gainful employment for the last (almost) ten years… They send me their portfolios of what they consider their best “stuff”. This place employs some of the finest photorealistic artists in the country, and I am honored to be called one of them… So when I see these submissions, I have only one rule when trying to determine if they should move on to the next level of consideration…

If I…? with no training, no Masters in Fine Art, no Grand Master Academy mentor? Only a 1 month figure drawing class 11 years ago and a fuckofalotta blood sweat and tears on my own..? Can do better? Then it’s a no go.

Ya got more work to do before you can count yourself among those who work HERE.

Because…? Where there is talent, there must also be skill… You have to put in the time, the dedication…! Or it’s worth little to nothing..!!

A talent requires honing… refining… training… for it to truly blossom and shine. A Photographer must learn about focus, framing, composition and all that jazz… A painter must learn also learn those things, but also about pigment strength, light fastedness, durability and transparency…th behavior of certain pigments and their mediums… An artist of charcoal and chalk must learn about value and tone and form… An artist who uses inks or watercolors must learn about drying times and how to manipulate their mediums for maximum effect…

You must learn the rules in order to break them… And you cannot do that only with your talent..! You need the skills to go along with it, and then you can use both to create the art you wish to give the world…

David is a wise man. And you are quite skilled at your photographic art…! Hone that talent… Learn your required skills to make it even better…! Go for it DUDE!! Kudos!

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