[QUOTE=Harrigan;368049] . . . I donít think doing a comissioned work of art is in any way at all even close to being similar to creating works explicitly for sale. . . .
Sometimes they are much alike. A photographer can apply the same creative and technical ability to a subject prescribed by a client as to a subject of his own choice. The best analogy that comes to mind outside the field of photography is music. Mozart was the ultimate commercial composer. Some of his works were done on commission. Others were done in hopes of sales or lucrative contacts. Some were done for his own public performances. A few were done with no known specific end use. Despite these varied goals, the quality is consistantly good, and sometimes great.
Photographers can well consider commissioned photos as a challange, not as a chore. Ruth Bernhard's commercial work sometimes shows as much creativity as her photographs that we would consider fine art. Karsh of Ottawa created masterpieces while doing commercial portraits. It's the photograph, not the reasons for its creation, that might make it a masterpiece. Unfortunately, an influential critic or a wealthy patron can help, too.