For the past couple of years I've been struggling with my photography and what I want to be when I grow up as a photographer. I've tried a few avenues, made goals to publish a book, be in a gallery, etc. but I've come to realize that these were not really what I was seeking, or if they were it was just a portion of a grander whole. So what do I really want for my photography? I want my photography to be seen. I want people to look at it and have an emotional reaction. I want to be proud of my work. I want people to remember my work and seek out more. I want my photography to be memorable. I want my photos to be loved by others just as much as I love creating them. And really isn't this what most serious photographers are looking for, an AUDIENCE?
Part of what as made this so difficult is I was searching for a single audience for my work. This really came into focus when I took a workshop with John Paul Caponigro in March of 2011 (a life changing event, I've talk about it some here). He stressed that I needed to create cohesive bodies of work, that build on each other. So instead of shooting still life's, Pinup, glamour, landscapes, and everything else I was shooting at the time, I should pick one and make that be my focus. That is where this struggle started, I could not decide which of my bodies of work to pursue, I started thinking of them as which would be more marketable or please more people and ignored my inner passion to shoot all of these things. My creativity seemed to dry up and I felt like I was forcing my photos to fit into some specific unknown project.
It took another workshop, this time by Brooks Jensen publisher of Lenswork Magazine to bring clarity to the path I should be taking. Brooks pointed out that John Paul's model was the correct way to become an artist in the past, but it's not the only way and in fact it a fading view of how to become an artist in today's world. Brooks proposes that you can find an audience for any type of work and that it's OK to have disparate projects and multiple audiences. It may take a bit more work to cultivate multiple audiences, but it is doable. Instead of trying to have a consistency and focus on only one type of photography I feel free to shoot whatever project I want and then find the appropriate audience for that project. This has completely changed the way I now think about my photography and I'm excited now to pursue my passion again.
What do you want from your photography?
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