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photography is [an art and a business]

This is some of my favorite work lately. It’s the type of work I really love and the type of work I’ve always loved. I am not quite sure why it stands out other than it is beautiful to me. Both images are technical disasters. I know I wouldn’t be able to sell this work to clients even though I love it and it’s really me and I want to see them both HUGE on my wall. I mean, who is going to get it anyway? Especially not the “friend” I went to grade school with who unfanned my Facebook business page and who tried to tell me I should be offering those cut-out stand-up photo thingys. Well…she’s not a client anyway.

But, I digress. I recently came across this article by Kirk Tuck when I went over to the Wallflower Friends Facebook page to maybe start a conversation about something that I lost the gumption to start a conversation on. At the same time, I’ve been writing a “play” book for a photography workshop I am planning later this year which addresses some of the issues he discusses in this blog post. He asks,

“What really needs to be published is a guide to help you find out what you want to photograph, why you want to photograph that subject and how to make a vision that is unique to you.  Any takers?  Who’s teaching that one?”

Well, I probably won’t go into massive detail about this in the workshop because as he stated, “…if you are selling a learning experience centered around technical stuff you can nearly always pack the house.” But, I will touch on all the important points about how to find your style before you try to sell your work to others and highlight why it’s so critical to stay true to your personal vision. I barely got exposed to this idea in an art degree program at a university so 20 years later, I am still trying to nail it down! I guess it’s not bad that it is a life long process. What’s difficult is all the distractions along the way to be like “the other photographers” who are so busy they can’t keep up with their own “processing and blogging.”

That isn’t what I want for my art. I do want to work with clients who understand and appreciate the work I create for them and for myself. I don’t want to be overwhelmed by swarms of exuberant mothers wanting the latest, greatest photographic prop in their kids’ shot. I want to make images of real people who are content with themselves and those around them. And I want to have time for real, personal moments with those around me. And I am doing it right now and I need to stop forcing the organic process.

So, if you are trying to find your personal style, keep on trying and don’t worry too much about what camera you have, what flash you use and what you’re good at. Just follow your heart and do what you love most.

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1 Comment

  1. Reply

    amy

    May 20, 2011

    OMG this spoke to me so much today….personal style…what is that?? I don’t even have a style in my closet and yet in my latest class I have to have personal style portfolio?? yikes….Heading out today to do exactly what you said…”follow your heart and do what you love most.” Currently I love these littles of mine and of course yummy backlighting (if I could ever figure out the correct settings I may finally get a style!) xoxo…
    ps…need to stop by your house still…crazy week.

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