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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Photographer Joe Wesley: Using His Gift to Capture Something Amazing

(originally published by Conversations Magazine March 8, 2013)

by Cyrus Webb

To find inspiration in your life is one of the greatest gifts imaginable. It make everything that you do, everything that you go through worthwhile. For celebrated photographer Joe Wesley inspiration has guided him through his career, assisting him in not only being recognized for his work but feeling the satisfaction that comes from giving your best. "It's been amazing," he told me. "I really enjoy what I do, and I'm very passionate about photography. I like coming to a finished piece that I love that others can like as well."

I found out about Wesley through Facebook. It was obvious from the images that he was sharing there that he had a gift, and I wanted him to share with our audience how he got to where he was. "Ever since I was a child I have been into the arts," he says. "My junior year in college I decided to take a photography course. I loved the whole creative aspect of it." From there he knew he had found where he belonged.

Though he has been recognized for his gift, he knows there are limitations. "I'm aware that I can't please everyone," he told me. That awareness, however, doesn't deter him.  "There are people that I can please and that will appreciate what I do. That's what is important. Focusing on anything else can slow down the whole creative process. It's really about how I feel about what I do. I want to get the right shot, the right photo."

"I do mostly portrait photography," Wesley explained. "For me it's about getting people comfortable and relaxed. It takes a little time for some to gain that confidence. I want to make them as relaxed as possible, finding that space where the image will come out in that comfort. It's all about capturing that mood and emotion that is going on in that moment."

It is that focus that is keeping his star on the rise. "I believe that when people focus on what they love doing others will appreciate it as well," he says. "That's the key to creating great work. That passion and love of it will drive you into creating something amazing."

I'm always interested in the motivation behind work, and I asked Joe Wesley about his motivation when people see something he has created. "My motivation is inspiration," he told me. "I hope my work helps to inspire others to work on whatever they might do. For me my motivation is other photographers, so I hope that I am able to help others be motivated to bring up the quality of their work."

During our conversation we also talked about the role that social media and word of mouth has played in spreading the word about his photography. Joe told me that when clients refer others to him it let's him know that they appreciate his work. Through a referral, he says,"I know that they are truly satisfied."

Joe wants the inspiration he has found to be yours as well. "I think people should take an opportunity each day (about 30 min to an hour) to get to know yourself and what you want. Find out what it is you want to accomplish, what is it that is driving you. Spend some time to yourself to get to know who you are. That way you can approach the day knowing what you want to do."

To stay connected with Joe Welsey find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/joewesleyphotography. You can also bookmark his website www.joewesleyphotography.com.

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