I have been visiting Bosque del Apache, National Wildlife Refuge for longer than many of you have been alive. Over the years it has been a great love affair. And like any love affair, it has both elated and frustrated me. At times I have been angry at it and yet most of the time it gives me warm fuzzies all over. It’s a love/hate relationship that is so up and down because it is a place that reminds me (regularly) that as a bird photographer, I rarely have ANY control over the conditions I work in.

With a hat tip to Seth Godin, I want to mention a simple point today. Validation is overrated. What someone else thinks of you or your work doesn’t have to have a negative impact on your life. Period. Why? Because there can be only one YOU and only YOU can know if your work is true to your own heart. The way to find out whether or not you “have it” is to just do it! Only YOU can give someone else permission to hurt you.

“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera” - Yousuf Karsh