Meet Photographer Rob Davidson, from New York City.
Rob Davidson Photography
RobD3 on Flickr
“For the past few years I have been clambering to gain knowledge and insight as a photographer. My hobby had taken that turn to become an obsession and I knew I wanted to do more. With that, I decided to sign up for Don’s Learn to Light workshop held in May 2010 in NYC. Don’s teaching style fit me well and suddenly several concepts I’d been hovering around for years suddenly clicked into place and my technical abilities took a major leap forward.
Late that year, Don announced the concept for Project 52 and with a great deal of self-doubt I decided to jump in. If his two-day workshop had moved the needle as far as it had just imagine what a year could bring. I came to the project with a handful of professional shoots under my belt but I was still floundering in the dark.
Right out of the gate I was challenged to decide what it was I wanted to shoot professionally and how I presented that subject. I felt the beads of sweat form on my forehead as I sat with pencil pressed to the empty page of my Moleskin. I hadn’t taken a single photo, yet I was already hitting the wall. Thankfully, I pressed through, put thoughts to paper and started to make some informed decisions.
The second assignment – approach and photograph a stranger. Again, I nearly threw in the towel out of complete fear. This one would take me beyond my comfort zone and procrastination set in. With Don appearing to look right through the Internet and into my mind, knowing exactly which buttons he needed to push to make me a better photographer, I mustered the courage and got the shot.
This pushing, cajoling, moving beyond comfort zones continued throughout the year. Each week a group of us met online to discuss the assignment and what we had prepared. In all honesty, the critiques began a little lightly. We were all encouraged, told what we had done well, but the constructive criticism was often missing. As a tight knit community quickly formed through the weekly meetings and the forum discussions, we went to Don with the request more pointed feedback. To move forward, we needed to know where we fell short. Don graciously agreed.”
More from Ron and a look at some images from his portfolio after the jump.
“With that change, the growth truly began to accelerate. I learned to systematically think through an assignment, develop a concept and a photo in my head, see the potential pitfalls, think through the frame, the composition, the light and, most importantly, to execute. I now see details I would have missed before. I see subtleties in light and better know how to achieve or alter as needed. I can now look through the viewfinder with a layout in mind and know how to shoot to that layout.”
Some photos from Rob’s Portfolio:
“However, my most significant breakthrough this past year has been to return to that first assignment. I have figured out what I want to shoot. Moreover, I know now HOW I want to shoot it. Over the year I’ve seen my style emerge from the din. I understand now what makes me tick as a photographer and what differentiates me. Knowing those to things I’ve started to build a part-time business and have been able to land some great assignments and have some exciting projects on the horizon for next year. I’m not quitting my day job yet, but I foresee a busy couple of years ahead of me trying to balance both aspects of my work.
I certainly still have much to learn, but the growth this past year has surpassed my wildest dreams. I’m planning to continue with Project 52 as the new year begins. I know I will learn more and I’m eager to continue that growth, however the underlying motivation is now participating in the community and having a lot of fun!”
Thanks Rob. See you next year… and we’ll have lunch when I am in New York.
All Photographs copyright Rob Davidson.
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