I was recently asked to really look inside myself and figure out what I want from this (this being my whole quest to pursue my love of photography), and see where I want to take it. I’ve been trying to think things over, map things out in my head, but honestly I feel lost.
I don’t know any other photographers who’s main focus isn’t portraiture that have “made it” and I use that term loosely. “Making it” in my head means being able to be sustained financially through photography, or breaking even really. I know in order to be financially smart I need to invest in going digital for any professional work I do, and make my love of film a part-time thing on the side, but I would feel like a total sell-out if I started jumping into doing portraits, weddings, and events. Yes, I would like to try it out just for experience and to see if I’m any good at it since I’ve never really given it a shot, but its just not my passion. The easy answer is to just work a regular 9-5 job that can support my passion of photography part time and keep it as a hobby, but I feel like I would be selling myself short by doing something I don’t love full time and the things I love whenever I can create a spare slot of time in my schedule.
And to dig a little deeper, I’m not 100% sure I could even “make it” in the art or commercial photography world. So many photographers out there are so talented, and the ones who make use of old school techniques are being out shadowed by digital freaks who overuse effects that buyers tend to flock towards. The art is being lost I feel like. Its tough being in love with a dying art form, and not being sure if you’re even any good at it. I know I’m decent, and maybe I’m being overly critical of my own work, but I just feel like so many people out there are WAY better than me. Maybe I just need to practice more and think less, who knows.
Sorry this is so rambly and disorganized, its been on my mind all week and I needed to just get it out somewhere and maybe hear some of your feedback. I would like to hear your opinions or comments on this. :)
I was originally going to do a tip & trick Thursday but I have too many finishing touches to put on my girl scout presentation I’m giving tomorrow about photography so instead, you get a picture of what most twenty-somethings in midtown will be doing tonight. Be safe, and happy Friday Eve.
Yes it sounds sick, almost pornographic, but this is something I actually kind of like about it, love about it. I’m a very impatient person, waiting patiently is not my strongest skill. Film forces me to take it slow, at a minimum I have to wait an hour after shooting to see what I got. To see if my eye matches my skill, to see if the mood I was feeling at the time translated the right way onto those tiny silver crystals.
You wait to develop. You wait to print. You wait while you expose your paper in the darkroom, you sit patiently and count the seconds while its in the developer, forming an image before your very eyes, the stop, the fix, while it washes. Its a giant waiting game. But the results are so fantastic it makes all the waiting TOTALLY worth it. I love the feeling I get when I realize I captured EXACTLY what I set out to capture, its one of those gut feelings you can’t really explain, but you just know it when you have it.
I don’t wait for many things, but I will wait ever so patiently when it comes to film. :)
For any of you HIMYM fans (how I met your mother) out there, you will all love todays Tip & Trick Thursday. I created my very own Murtaugh List for things I am too old to do, and by old I mean experienced. I’m mostly writing this because I am the queen of doing dumb shit and basically shooting myself in the foot when it comes to epic photography screw ups. There was that one time I erased priceless pictures from New Zealand from my hard drive AND card, the multiple times I’ve misused, mistreated, mistaken film and come out with horrible results, and most recently using cheap as shit film and expecting something good to come of it. So here goes my own version of the Murtaugh List.
Buying, using, and developing cheap film.
Using c41 black and white film, its the b&w film that can be developed using color. The result is higher than usual grain and unreliable contrast. Not to mention I’m at the mercy of the machine.
Having film developed at anywhere except Photosource. Honestly even Ritz managed to RUIN my film from Jackson, which means I will never be able to print from it, only digital scans.
Not keeping track of what film I have in my camera at all times. Now that I’m back down to one camera I have been losing track of if I’m shooting in b&w or color if I don’t finish the roll the day I put it in, and I always shoot b&w using a red filter, which means if I forget what film is in there I could possibly screw up an entire roll of color film by using a red filter on it.
Flexible tripods/gripods. Threw down 30 bucks on one bendy tripod and it can barely hold up my little point and shoot, let alone my heavy SLR.
Underestimating the time & effort into participating in an art show & consequently depriving myself of sleep and other healthy things (I’ve basically been deathly ill since the show)
I’m sure I’ll add more to this list, because I learn everything the hard way…oh silly me. I’m too old for this shit.
So the show was amazing, I am still in awe at how many friends and family showed up to support a big first for me, and I’ve even had 2 people inquire about buying a print! It was an amazing show filled with some really talented photographers and I’m looking forward to participating in many more.
This whole thing was a giant experiment for me. Usually before I dive into something I like knowing everything, what to do, what to expect, I do my research but nothing I did or read really prepared me for the show and getting ready for the show which is a new experience for me in general. Needless to say I learned a lot about the process and myself and how willing I am to walk blindly into something, fully invested. But hey, guess what? I survived…even though I was scared sh-less for the entire time. At least now I know what to do and what not to do…which I’m sure I’ll be posting about some more so I can help out other newbies like me out there.
And I don’t want to brag or anything, but everyone loved my business cards and my mini bio I had posted next to my work. :)
I was hoping to have the videos and pictures from the show posted by now but I took some time this week to de-stress by living it up and being totally irresponsible, so I’ll try to get them up before I turn 80. I will also be returning to my regularly scheduled program with some awesome Tips & Tricks, and Friday Postcards, and more progress on working on my book project and teaching my niece E some more photography stuff now that I”ll be spending 2 days a week with my niece and nephew. By the way, during the show prep I showed her the darkroom and she totally thought it was cool, so I think next we’re going to work with black and white film and see if she likes it.