It has been an interesting summer. While I have enjoyed a lot of success and positive feedback in my work I have also come to the realization I've started to take a lazy approach to continuing this momentum, instead choosing to ride upon the success of past work instead of continually setting sights on new projects, study and improvements.
The positive attention only lasts for so long, especially when you stop putting out new work and being involved in the community. Ironically I've always known that as a photographer you need to get out there and find opportunities, not just sit on your ass and wait for them to come to you. Certainly, that's not much of an option with the active community photography has gained over the past few years.Being stubborn, or ignorant, your pick, it's something I lost a bit of awareness of.
You can't improve if you do not go out there and practice. You need to continually shoot, even on days you don't feel particularly compelled to. We all get creative block but it's important to go out and try new things, meet new people and test your skills. You fail some days and succeed others but in the end, whatever the result you come away with an experience that helps shape your photography and moves it one step forward. Little by little, there are no big leaps forward but small steps that take a lot of work and dedication.
It's important to take those baby steps even if you don't feel you have much to gain. Eventually it catches up with you and you'll realized every missed shoot is a missed opportunity.