Since I first started to take photography more seriously I realized that I was in one of the best possible locations in the world to really make things happen...New York City. A city full of not just vibrancy, grittiness and beauty but with people who, like me, are just trying to get their names out there and make something. From my first full time design job, 6 years ago, it was pretty clear that New York is not for the weak at heart. You can't expect a rosy reception for your work. You can't expect praise for staying late or just trying. New York is a place where the only the hardest working and toughest mentally survive. If that means taking a part time job (that you hate) to supplement your income, that's the norm. The amount of pride swallowing that it takes, while living here, drives those who feel their work is being undersold or not taken seriously to work harder.
The fact of the matter is, for every piece of work you put out there are 10 more people out there who are working 2 jobs and still finding the time to spend in the studio or extra time designing/editing. They're building their knowledge of lighting or trying new shooting/editing techniques. You can't just fake your way through mediocrity and expect success to come. New York has its way to weed out those who don't work hard.
I really value being in a place that is constantly pushing me as an artist to be better. It pushes you to reach out to others. It pushes you to get into uncomfortable situation. It pushes you to shoot subjects or topics you never thought you would shoot or be interested in. I find that a lot of the shoots I've really enjoyed have been first time meeting a client or subject. It's uneasy, you're both unsure if things are looking good. You're personally scared that you have no idea what you're doing. Then, you find your rhythm. You subject relates to you, you laugh, you both see something cool while in the location. He/she finds a great pose. It only take a moment, but I've found that in each shoot that I do, you find 1 shot that sums up the entire length of the shoot. It never the first shot, or the last, or even the middle. Its different everytime. The biggest thing I've learned while shooting photos is that, the more work you put in with the learning, the preparation, the location scouting, the inspiration. The more you'll start to see great results.
My advice for anyone who thinks that that it's super hard to do things in New York:
"it is but stop complaining about how hard it is and just figure it out. You're, your own worst critic. Don't worry about the looks you get on the street while shooting, The long culling and editing process, the light that's not as perfect as you wanted. Your photos won't be perfect but make the best and learn from it."