The Inspiration Behind Your Photography

“Whatever it takes to stay inspired is worth it.” – Alan Cohen

In a world over-saturated with information, photography tips are a dime a dozen. This post is not a tip or tutorial– partially because it contradicts my opening sentence, but mainly because I’m not qualified to share any tips regarding photography. What I do want to share is what inspired me to start this hobby that so many have already fallen in love with.

It began with an internship– an internship that threw me in the midst of a production studio that provided professional tips for anyone aspiring to advance their photography skills. It would have been a dream come true if I knew anything at all about photography; I knew nothing about photography. So naturally, my first assignment was to watch one of the videos and familiarize myself with the basics. After several minutes of scrolling through the hundred-plus video library, I settled on an episode featuring Bob Holmes. Why I chose that video will forever be a mystery, let’s just call it fate.

Bob Holmes using shadows

Image by Bob Holmes

Now I would be lying if I told you that I was immediately drawn into photography, or that I even watched the entire video (sshhh). Instead, it was a subtle hint and photo (to the right) he gave around the 5:30 mark that resonated with me: “One thing that most photographs need is some punctuation point, some little element that will bring it to life.” Fast-forward two months and I’m standing along the shoreline in Seattle, Washington with my girlfriend at the time. Looking out into the sunset, I heard the British accented voice of god, “most photographs need some punctuation point.” The voice was later determined to be that of Bob Holmes. I felt inspired, and based on what I remembered from the video, I managed to capture the following image:

inspiration nathaniel chu

Image by Nathaniel Chu

I’m not a professional photographer, I’d be the first person to tell you that. But I was inspired to capture a moment, one that I will treasure forever and proudly share on my Instagram or Facebook. At the end of the day, isn’t that what photography is all about? Capturing a moment, telling a story, and sharing it with people?

I didn’t expect to fall in love with this hobby but like most things you fall in love with, it came out of nowhere and I just went with it (try not to gag). Today I continue to watch the videos AYP produces and not just because I work here, but because I am constantly being inspired by each photographer.

So that’s my story. But I want to know yours and what inspires you to shoot. Who and what made you decide to pick up this hobby (or career)? I’ve shared with you my first proud photograph, and I’d love for you to share yours with me. Also, feel free to follow me on Instagram and see my progression.

Be inspired, shoot, and share.