so refreshing to hear peers and their thoughts.
Francesco, I agree 100%! One of my goals before the end of the year is to have 4 of my prints hanging on the wall. They don't have to be perfect, but they have to mean something to me. And of these 4 I want 2 to be new pictures. To this end I've been scouring my old negs for work that I would like to put up on my wall for me.
Originally Posted by Francesco
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
I'm with Francesco, too. I'm a real "newbie", but I took some pictures that I thought weren't too bad, so I matted & framed them & hung them in my kitchen. It give me great joy to see them there! I also decided to make a calendar a couple years ago. I scanned my prints, wrote some poetry, made the months & printed the sheets on heavy drawing paper. I gave them to people at Christmas, and they were asking me in July if I planned to make another one! I did & it was very well received.
Of course this is different from selling something...I think I'd have to grab the nitro if anyone actually wanted to buy something I'd done haha But it does make you feel great to know that someone else likes the things you do. We can say we do it for our own personal satisfaction, and that is true! But it is also true that we like it when others like what we do!
Gosh, most days I feel like I am not very good; don't understand what the heck I'm trying to 'say'; and a myriad of other self-doubting things. But I just try to work past it and keep plugging. So, you are not alone!
Many interesting and beautifully put explanations above, but I'll see if I can add anything to it.
I guess I shoot pictures because that is who and what I am. To create an image which reflects how I see the world rather than how we just look at it gives me satisfaction beyond explanation. For a few seconds when I first see a picture I have created when I'm out in the street and has been published I feel that I exist and have some purpose. The feeling fades over the next 24 hours, but for that short period I am me and I am real.
I have yet to capture the perfect picture for myself and maybe I never will. But I will keep trying until the grains of sand run out and all that is left of me is the prints I have created. Hopefully one day someone will look at a print and wonder about the subject and the unknown photographer, but I am not as important as the picture.
I also feel guilty at times that I have dumped well paid jobs to chase the light, sometimes to the point of a "starving artist" which is not good with a wife and son. But my son is proud his father is a photographer and my wife loves me enough to work in order to support us and any fee's I make give us those little treats just every now and again.
It's mostly been said. I'd add that sometimes people succumb to that horrible human condition of feeling a little guilt when they enjoy themselves too much, certainly I do.
If you enjoy it, it makes you a better person, doesn't hurt anyone else in the process and makes the world a slightly better place - why not do it? I think Photography (particularly the purist forms) fit this mantra quite well.
Additionally, Photography makes you See Differently, and in a good way. It's been said a passionate photographer will live 300 yrs - not a bad reason to do it as well!
That's pretty inspirational MrCallow. I'm at a junction where I've lived the corporate world 10yrs followed by my own business for 8 and thinking about elevating the arts to the exclusion of the rest. We need to hear stories like yours ...
Originally Posted by mrcallow
Last edited by John McCallum; 07-22-2004 at 08:57 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Each of us is what we are.. nothing more, nothing less.
The doing is more important than the understanding.
or in other words.. it's better to make pictures than think about why you want to make them.
That's the best I can come up with after two years of navel gazing, self doubt, the pursuit of meaning.
You should have asked the guy in the kayak/canoe what he was doing paddling around, wasting time spending money on frivolous toys and such.
It seemed that every time I seemed to be at a point where my career in the arts was about at a point to move forward, something would happen where I would have to give up more of my creative time to support the family. I have five years left of this great societal pressure to be a man and take care of my responsibilities.
Then it's back into the arts on a more elevated level. When we send in the check for my younger daughter's senior year in college, we're gonna pack up and move and not tell the kids!!!!
It will be my time again to pursue my dreams.
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
I was going to ask why you didn't ask him why he was in the middle of river, not making money! It's a common response... do you do weddings, you should sell them, etc... there's never a, can I buy that print! Something about photography that makes people think you should be making money out of it, or worse, they can make money out of it! My wife makes greeting cards and the 1st question is usually, is it cheap to make them.
Couple of semi-related stories...
When we were building our house I had a darkroom on the plans. When we showed the builder (husband and wife team) their response to viewing the plans went something like this... them : "what's this room" me : "a darkroom... I make B&W prints for a hobby" them : "a what?". After we'd moved in, we had them back for lunch to say thankyou (they did a good job!) and I gave them a framed print. They (esp. she) was genuinely touched. It was probably just having recieved a 'thankyou' but I'd like to think it was also the fact that it was something unique, handcrafted with care!
Our camera club has a B&W exhibition each year and it's in a bout 2 weeks time. I've been trying to select and print my prints. We can display up to 3 and I've got 5 printed to choose from. For a 3rd opinion, I bought them to work. One of the prints ( http://www.photocritique.net/g/s?zzaivn-p22181520 ) I was pleased with but didn't know how it would be percieved. AS a landscape, it's a bit arty! You can't see it in the scan but when you stick your nose on the print, you can pick out the city skyline in the distance. I had two people react similar to this pic (the other pics got the usual things like, I like this one, etc). They looked at it, didn't say anything, moved a bit closer, looked around, moved closer and whammo, uttered 'ahhhh, you can see the city' or similar. Which was why I printed it so light, to make you discover something (the city skyline is the obvious one, but there are other things when you look closely) I had other people that were still cool to it even after having the detail pointed out, but I've decided to use that image because of the reactions it got. My other two prints are going to have to do with "I like this one" reactions!
Edit : Actually, you can see the skyline in the scan if you stick your nose on the monitor
I stuck my nose on the monitor and all it did was leave a grease print....would have liked to see the city line....I think it makes for an interesting image when you discover the city line.....
I think it very nice print (and I was going to say so at photocritique but had to register).
Originally Posted by Jorge
Great cityscape - (wiping my grease spot off the monitor) :-)