Filling Your Photography Jar

SqC: Jar of Rocks 2
SqC: Jar of Rocks 2 by Yogi

There was an interesting article at the Daily Blog Tips site titled “Put the Big Rocks First“. The story made a lot of sense to me on many levels, but since this is a photography blog, I'll share those thoughts. I'm not going to repeat the whole story, but it's basically the fill – a – jar – with – rocks – gravel – sand – and – water thing that I'm sure many of you have heard before. If you haven't, go read it at Daily Blog Tips.

The point of the story is that you can only put so much stuff in one jar. If you start filling it with the small stuff first, you won't have room for the big stuff later. Not having room for the big items is way worse than not having room for the small things. This whole way of thinking can be applied to photography (and life) in many ways.

Here are a few of my thoughts on the subject as it relates to my photography (the jar). The larger items are the things I place more importance on, the things I try to spend the most time on, and the things that provide the most value to me.

  1. ROCKS — TAKING PHOTOS. For me, this is the most important aspect of photography. It all starts here. There's no amount of post-processing that can match good photography skills, and I spend a considerable amount of time learning, improving my skill-set, and taking photos.
  2. GRAVEL — ORGANIZATION. Keeping things in order has always been important to me, especially when it comes to my photos. I do a lot of categorizing, keywording, and workflow management. It's also at this stage that I weed out a portion of the photos I've taken.
  3. SAND — POST-PROCESSING. I do enjoy working with Photoshop and exploring the possibilities, but it's not my main focus. I only process the photos that I really like, and even some of those don't make it out of my personal library. So again, I weed out a portion of the photos I've taken.
  4. WATER — MARKETING. Once a small portion of my photos make it out of my personal library, it's time to market them and have them seen. This is my least important part of photography because selling and sharing photos is really just a byproduct of the hobby that I love.

How do you apply this philosophy to your photography?