It Takes 10,000 Hours – Are You Up For it?

cover Chalkboard

It Takes 10,000 Hours – Are You Up For it?

 Professional – amateur – hobbyist – selfi-est – to be an expert, its 10,000 hours.

 For profit, for fun, to share your best, to reach your potential, to create amazing imagery . . . to become an expert, it’s 10,000 hours.

 You are not a bad photographer while you are on the journey, you don’t magically flip into expert when that magic hour passes.

 It has been well researched, across an amazing number of disciplines; it is what it takes; it appears, 10,000 hours

 You can really see this in performing artists. Musicians that go up and down the scales, painters with always stained hands, sketchers always doodling.

 In photographers it is a bit subtler. I caught Jeff Bingham mentioning how every evening he runs through all the controls and buttons on his camera. He has muscle memory now, he thinks what he wants and his fingers do it. Have you seen his imagers? You should,, they are amazing.

 I don’t think he has even hit his 10,000 hours, (Jeff might correct me on that.)

 Julie Hughes from Abby of London studio was a fellow speaker in London a few years back. She believed you should be able to change all your camera controls eyes closed. She compared it to disassembling and reassembling a gun blindfolded. Your life depends on it.

 As your hours add up. its not always with spectacular projects. It is testing, making mistakes, lots of mistakes, missteps. You will learn more from those failures than when everything goes right.

 Still – 10,000 hours, wow that is a lot.

 Yet, have you heard of the 20 hours? Josh Kaufman is part of the new wave talking about and researching this. His consideration is: “If you persist and practice in an intelligent way, you’ll always experience dramatic improvements in a very short period of time.”

 It appears that 20 hours of persistence practice gets you a long way. The trick it seems, is your selection of what to focus on. While the 10,000 hours is the big experts picture, looking at it from the 20 hours kick-start so to speak, is less daunting.

 Amazing progress can be made. The human mind adapts and learns in a uniquely quick fashion. It always starts out slow, frustratingly hard with a huge number of mistakes.

 But, as one of my mentors often says, “If it is worth doing, then it is worth doing badly at first.” We always start out bad; we are inexperienced after all. The toe of that learning curve is often stubbed. It is like the universe is asking us if we are serious or not about it.

 That smaller time frame, 20 hours, makes it doable; you can see that horizon.

 In the end it is about focused practice, not just randomly done. Growth of a photography skill takes hands-on doing it. Often 20 hours to get good, 10,0000 to become an expert.

 Are you up for it? Do you want to be amazing? Approach every image opportunity with a confidence born from walking across hot coals.

 Put in the time. Get the depth. Your images will reveal it.

 10,000 hours, that is dedication. Are you up for it?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *