Experience The World — Earn on The Go!
A single step in the right direction can lead to the adventure of a lifetime. In this case, a single photo can inspire you to pursue a new hobby and map out your life in a way that’s completely different from what you had in mind.
Meet Torrey (@torrey_merritt) — the adventurous photographer. Although he only discovered his passion a few years back, it’s already grown into his living.
Read his thoughts on the importance of having an online presence and what to focus on when starting your own journey to creativity.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Torrey Merritt and I’m an adventure and lifestyle photographer from Bellingham, Washington. I’ve lived in Washington my whole life and don’t plan on ever permanently relocating. I am 27 years old and found my passion for photography about 2 years ago. That’s not to say I didn’t take some photos before then as a hobby. I’ve now been freelancing since Fall 2017.
2. Your photography is breathtaking. How do you get inspired or does your passion induce creativity?
That’s incredibly kind and valued feedback. I always get excited when people connect with anything I produce. Lately, I’ve been trying to focus much more on the inspiration side of things and I’ve found it’s helped me produce some of my very best work.
I highly suggest finding artists that you look up to and studying what makes them unique, and then trying to funnel that excitement about their work into your own creations.
A mistake I made for a long time was not trying to pick photographers and study their work, and that’s something I’ve started to do in the last couple weeks and I’m noticing a big difference in my style and also just my average level of enthusiasm.
3. How has having an established online presence affected your life?
Having an online presence is extremely valuable. You could be the most amazing photographer in your state, for example, but if nobody knows you exist it’s going to be an uphill battle for you.
However, there can also be way too much focus on numbers in this industry in my opinion. Followers and likes shouldn’t be the only focus, that’s for sure.
I find that a lot of people get lost in quick results or “short game” mentality, and that can cripple true artistic growth.
It’s definitely a balance. I always try to look at things through a “long game” mindset. What that means to me is making decisions that will be a good return on investment in 5 years, not necessarily in 5 days or 5 months and I find that a lot of people get lost in quick results or “short game” mentality, and that can cripple true artistic growth.
4. How would you describe your experience of collaborating with brands on social media?
I would say that collaborating with brands has been a joy so far for me. I’ve had a blast creating content that I’m proud to deliver and content that hopefully, each brand is excited about.
5. Do you have any tips you would give to someone who wants to step-up their Instagram game?
I would say to get into personal work. That is something that I’ve only just recently started to get into but it’s tremendously important.
I think personal work or personal projects are the biggest areas of growth in a lot of ways because the only payoff is at a personal level, and if you can motivate yourself by that then you are well on your way.
That’s not to say that personal work doesn’t advance your career, it’s actually one of the best ways of doing so, because it sets the tone and puts up a flag above your head showing you are motivated by the purest intentions and I think that even at almost subconscious levels, brands notice that. It’s funny how that works.
If you’re looking for the perfect time to start your own creative journey, you will never find it. The best time is now and trust me — it’s worth it. And if you need some extra motivation — you can find Torrey’s captivating profile here.
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