“Sometimes photographers take an “I could have done that” attitude when it comes to talent in this industry, but honestly, you can’t.”
Thomas Broening disagrees with him in a response to that post:
“I think the idea that either you are born with talent or you are not is a false one. Photography is one of the few professions left that require a long apprenticeship period to learn the craft. The exception is the student who comes right out of photo school ready to shoot professionally. It is more common that it take 5, 10 , or 15 years (20 in mine) to make a photograph.
If I had to choose between hard work and talent I would choose hard work every time. It is rare that I look at a students work and say I wish I had shot at least one image in the portfolio. The difference most of the time is the student has not figured out how hard they need to work order make it.
I saw Sally Mann speak years ago. She showed an amazing photograph of her boy in the water. It is super well known and has been shown around the world. Then she showed the eight other times she shot him in the same location that did not quite work. She hadn’t quite worked out the composition in some , the light wasn’t right or the boy wasn’t right. She kept plugging away at it until she got it right. Talent got her most of the way but hard work made her great.”
I agree with that last sentence.
Other good posts on the A Photo Editor blog are:
Haggart’s interview with Bruce Kramer (owner of the Art Mix agency) about his new gallery
(Note that the “A Photo Editor” blog is primarily about commercial and editorial photography.)