We had the good fortune of connecting with Cody Butler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cody, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
There have been multiple times that I’ve contemplated the thought of quitting, and no longer pursuing Photography. Sometimes it was because I was too invested in the opinion of other people, which resulted in me starting to doubt my craft, simply because I was not seeing my photos gain as much attention as I thought they deserved. Other times, it was due to hearing degrading remarks like “Your work isn’t that good”, “That field is too competitive”, and the worst being, “I don’t think you’ll be successful”. I had to remind myself that I started because I liked the idea of capturing a moment that wowed me and sharing it with the world, not to impress anyone. Most of all, seeing my progress and growth as a photographer has motivated me the most, comparing my old work to some of my newer work, is like day and night. I have started to appreciate the journey and that’s what keeps me going.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m not so sure what sets me apart from other Photographers. I feel like all photographers have their own look, style, etc., but aside from that, I feel like my personality is what sets me apart from others. Two of the things that I am most proud of is that I had to courage to start, and that people trust me to capture memorable moments. I am super proud of that because I am self taught, I didn’t take any extracurricular courses to further my knowledge of photography. Being self taught and developing my own style makes all this, that much better for me. Although the journey has been nothing short of amazing, there has been a variety of challenges that have come up along the way. First it was making money to get the gear needed to start, then it was finding someone to help design my logo, and a lot of smaller things. Above all, I think the most challenging thing, for me, has been to create without criticizing myself so much. As far as getting to where I am, a lot of it was just putting myself out there and letting people know that I am photographer. One of my biggest helps have been from people that I’ve done photos for in the past, they’ll tag me and share my Instagram profile to shout me out. A good friend of mine, who owns Aztec Strength (clothing company), has shared a lot of my work which has led to more exposure and word getting out about my work. Before getting into the field, I thought photography would be an easy field to get into, however, it’s been far from easy and a bigger workload than I was anticipating. I believe that creative work reveals character of its creator. I think that I would want the world to know that my photography means a lot to me and that I have worked hard to get it to where it is today.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I like to fish, so a fishing trip to Sedona would definitely be on the list. A short drive down to Oak Creek and hike along the creek and fish throughout the day would be a must! A couple of places I would want to grab food at, would be breakfast from Mike & Ronda’s, lunch from Big Foot BBQ, and dinner from La Fonda’s. As for places to hang out, Flagstaff overall is a great place to be, lot so trails to hike, lots of water around to fish, downtown has an unmatched vibe, and the starry night sky is unbeatable. Flagstaff, AZ is simply the best 🙂

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My soon-to-be wife, Tamera, has definitely been one of my biggest supporters! Some days I’ll have an idea strike me close to midnight or super early in the morning. No matter the time, she is right there, ready to make it happen. I would also have to shoutout a doctor that I previously worked for, Dr. Chelian. I have learned a ton of valuable lessons from this guy. Most of which has to do with mental wellness. I also have to credit the book “It’s all in your head” by Hip Hop artist Russ. His book sheds light on persistence, a good head space, and having an unmatched work ethic. I’d also like to recognize my parents, without them and their teachings, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Website: https://cdanyalphotography.mypixieset.com/

Instagram: @c.danyalphotography

Facebook: C. Danyal Photography

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