Learning Photography By Channeling Jimi Hendrix

Image Via WikiMedia Original photographer unknown

Jimi Hendrix Image Via WikiMedia Original photographer unknown

I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix with my dad. He is by far one the best guitar players of all time. His guitar playing revolutionized music. In a way it can also revolutionize your photography. Jimi Hendrix’s life and legacy can teach you a lot in how to deal with your photography, if you look at it the right way. He was a unique individual who did things his own way. However, he also learned from many of those who came before him. I’ve studied Jimi Hendrix quite a bit and it dawned on me that this is a great way to learn photography.

 Practice

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“Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.”

— Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix really concentrated on his music and practicing his craft. He always worked on his guitars. Jimi Hendrix studied a lot of great blues artists who were around when he was young. Hendrix practiced a lot, and always had his guitar with him. If you are a photographer you can learn from that and always have you camera with you. There will be bad days and good days. The more you practice your photography, the more you will learn the better you will become.

Know Your Tools

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“Those times I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. We all burn things we love. I love my guitar”

― Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix knew his way around a guitar, he loved his guitars. With all the practice he could play the guitar like no other. Practicing your photography will build the same familiarity between your and your camera. The more you know about your camera andhow it works for you, the better off you’ll be. I may take having a camera on you almost eight hours a day. You have to put work into it. I don’t care how much of a genius you are, you have to work at it. It does not have to be a Nikon Df or a Canon 5DMK III. All the camera has to be is the tool that works for you.

Cover Artist

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“I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.”

— Jimi Hendrix

When Jimi Hendrix was coming up, he did a lot of cover work. Playing in the clubs in the early 60’s was how he could make money. Instead of just playing others people’s music, he learned from it and adapted it to have his voice. Building your photography skills can work the same way. As a photographer you can study all the old greats, interpret their work, even try to reproduce what they did. You just can’t be exact about it. You have to make the image your own and more of an homage. It is a way to try to make your photography uncanny. Strange yet familiar. There may come a time where people are copying your work. As Jimi Hendrix got further into his career people started covering him. Making the same mistakes he made.

Develop Your Own Style

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“All I’m gonna do is just go on and do what I feel.”

― Jimi Hendrix

As Jimi Hendrix covered other people, he soaked up all their work and from there grew his own style. He mixed the blues with psychedelic music , creating a mashup of music that people loved. In developing your style you don’t have to start from scratch, you can learn others, adapt it and evolve. It will not happen right away, your style will develop in time.

Introvert and Extrovert

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“I used to live in a room full of mirrors; all I could see was me. I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors, now the whole world is here for me to see.”

― Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix was an introvert off stage and an extrovert on stage according to his history. The lesson from that is that you can walk this road alone. You see, you can stick to yourself as you learn, but you won’t get better if no one see’s your work. To get people to see your work you have to be a little social. Yo can’t just hope people will look at your work on your own. You have to get your photography in front of your eyes like Hendrix got his music in people’s ears.

Wild Thing

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“You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven. ”

― Jimi Hendrix

Don’t be afraid to be a bit crazy and experimental with your photography. I am not saying light your camera on fire like Jimi Hendrix lit his guitar. I am saying take chances. Not all of them will work out, but you learn from those. Some will work out. Bask in your successes and keep building your photography.

Know Your Worth

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“In order to change the world, you have to get your head together first.”

-Jimi Hendrix

One thing I learned about Jimi Hendrix was that off stage, he was unsure of his own worth. If you want your work to be seen, you have to believe in it. You don’t have to go out and be the Jimi Hendrix of photography. You have to have a solid understanding of what you want to do as a photographer and how you want to present yourself. Your work as a photographer has to be solid even if you are a timid individual. It has to be experienced.

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.