Why I do this Photography Thing (and check-out-my-website)

17 Jan

This time last year, my buddy Ross asked me a question (about my photography career) that really bothered me. He said “Cole. Why do you do what you do?” My answer on the spot was something like “I feel like I do this, because I haven’t got bored of it yet.” But I went home and realized that I needed a real answer. Not for Ross, but for myself.

I think a lot of people forget why they’re doing what they do. They forget what got them interested in the first place. That’s not the place to be as a Creative.

So, when I had some time I went to my parents and sat on the couch with a notepad. And I wrote a list of things that I loved about photography. It wasn’t hard to write. I love photography for a lot of reasons. But as I wrote, a theme started to emerge from the scribbles. The theme, summed up in one word, was: Share. Simple. My Favourite part of photography is honouring a person, place or thing (usually person) enough to take a photograph, and share it with someone else. Sharing my version of a story that is panning out in real time in front of me.

As I began to absorb this reality, I started to understand why I enjoyed certain photography projects over others. Projects in which I could tell a story, especially a unique story really got me stoked to do what I do. Projects that lacked a story were less interesting.

This isn’t a license to pick and choose the projects I take. I’m not independently wealthy just yet ; ) But it was definitely freeing to be able to put into words what I had felt about photography, and especially photography as a business.

A year has gone by, and I decided several days ago that I would sit down and do the same thing all over again. I would focus on what I love about photography, and I would get my eye down the scope and on the target once again.

Well, it turns out that this year I had no real epiphany.

I still really enjoy the story telling aspect of photography. I enjoy honouring an individual in a photograph. I enjoy being somewhere different at each photo shoot. I enjoy learning new things about this great big planet.

It was encouraging to test my realization from a year ago, and feel like it still holds true.

On the topic of development. My quiet time at the office has not gone to waste. I have got my receipts in order for my tax returns (Booooorrring).

More Excitingly: I have updated roughly 85% of the content on my website!

You can check out the fresh website at www.colebennett.com

If you need to borrow a notepad, a pen, and a couch, give me a call and we can hook you up.

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8 Responses to “Why I do this Photography Thing (and check-out-my-website)”

  1. Dr Kevin Matheson January 17, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    Cole
    Its so refeshing to hear about another person who loves his career. I believe you have an awsome talent and the world truly is a better place with you behind the lens or at your keyboard. Keep on honouring people and making them feel special. That’s what life is about.
    Dr Kevin

  2. James Keller January 17, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Great article, Cole! I really enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing!

  3. Lee Bice-Matheson January 17, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    Hi Cole: Great to read your thoughts on why you do what you do, so amazingly, I might add. I wanted to remind you of the photo you took of me by Lake Couchiching, the one I use for my ‘author’ photo. Remember it was supposed to be SCARY looking but the funniest thing has happened. People love it. They say I look even beautiful in it. For someone who is camera shy, you really did bring something out in me that I didn’t know I had. Thank you for that! Keep on shooting.
    Lee Bice-Matheson

  4. Cole Bennett, Illustrative Photographer January 17, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Thanks so much for your kind words everyone!

  5. Lynne Bono January 17, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Good morning Cole,i read what you shared here with interest. I came to your opening night of the Visibly Unseen exhibition in Barrie last year and i felt you are a person who has been given the gift of photography that isn’t just pictures. They are pictures that actually speak to us and make us think(especially ones like Visibly Unseen and the pic above).
    You seem a very insightful,sensitive young man and these traits combined with your photography can help bring awareness to many situations in life. I met and chatted with some of the people you had photographed for VU and you mangaged to capture who they were in your pictures. Your pitures showed the enormous daily struggles people have each and every day,but they also showed their personalities and determination.

    I live with Chronic pain and looking at this picture here of the guy at the doorstep almost shows how life with chronic pain is each day. We can be on the threshhold but it takes courage and determination to go forth each day,not to mention a huge amount of effort.
    I do not waste energy on focusing on a cure for my conditions because i would miss out on LIVING my life each day. I use my energy to empower myself and others so we can have a good quality of daily life each day and also to reach out to others less fortunate than myself. When i help others i have distraction from my pain and i like to feel that they gain as much as i do.

    I know many people look at me and are very surprised to find out what i live with because i guess they have a certain image in their minds of how a person looks. They seem to think i should “look” sick instead of being upbeat and positive with a sense of humor.

    Hey,maybe one day that may be something you would like to consider following with your photography…….people living with chronic invisible pain.

    Keep doing what you do Cole. You have been given a gift and you use it well.

  6. Cole Bennett, Illustrative Photographer January 17, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Hi Lynne. Thank you for sharing this. The young man in the picture was born with Cerebral Palsy. He certainly has physical struggles, but he is consistently friendly, and up for talking, laughing and rocking out to music!

  7. justkeziah January 18, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    You are, and will always be, such a huge inspiration to me.

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