Often times and in almost everything there are pro’s and con’s that have to be dealt with. Looking at the good and bad the smart path is always to take both in perspective and learn from each. Doing so then applying what you have learned can help you avoid future mistakes. To coin an old saying ” If you learn from a mistake, it wasn’t really a mistake, was it? The saying asks a question, but also is meant to put you on a path of learning, and that is the point of this post.
I, like most, always try to maintain a positive outlook, even though most of what surrounds us is negativity. Recently just in my own daily activities I have had to deal with several issues that should sour my normal positive outlook and in some ways it has. My beloved Jeep Wrangler is in the shop for a spun out bearing, my major lively hood has not produced the income we need, and we know face another 4 years of the most radical president ever elected to office in the United States. I have a great deal of fear for what our nation is coming to and the freedoms our forefathers worked so hard to achieve. My rights and my income are being threatened by a government who feels my purpose is to serve their agenda and be a slave to the entitled. Granted my blog is supposed to be about photography, but I felt the need to share these thoughts to give you a human side of what is normally a post of pictures and some words, with very little about the person who shot these photos. So to take away what I have learned by these recent events. We live in a land of confusion and uneducated people. Emotion seems to take the major role when it is time to make a decision, and the lack of common sense is evident by some of the choices that are made. Some may call this an opinion, but time and time again, I see a decision made based on emotion, and the failures and disappointments that come after only increase the negative emotions. This leads to a spiraling free fall and to an eventual crash. So with all this being said I refer to a quote I heard in a movie. Why do we fall? the answer….. SO we can learn to pick ourselves up again! Is that what it takes anymore? A crash. We are so self consumed with our own agenda and emotion that we have forsaken common sense, so we can achieve the greater good. This is a very scary place and it will be difficult to learn from all this. We must however try.
On to how this all ties in to my passions. Back in the eighties I was an aspiring photographer. I won my first photography contest before I graduated high school. Enjoying the fruits of my labor, I continued on doing what I loved until the day, I returned to my vehicle from a scoping out mission only to find that tools of my trade had been stolen. As life happened, I married and had children and the photography was put on hold. With an ever-increasing itch to start-up again, I found myself familiarizing myself with long forgotten methods of composition and applied these to the new digital camera world. I also began to enter contests again, and found that by doing so, some felt the same way I did about certain compositions. Recently I achieved a very high honor amongst some of my peers by winning first place in an outdoor scenic category and a second place finish with a wildlife photo. Considering I only entered 3 of the 5 categories, I felt a certain accomplishment by placing in two of the five divisions. Not to mention the competition I was up against, only increases the pride I felt by winning my favorite type of photography. All this has been stated without the reason I involved myself with photography. I am here for one reason, I wanted to capture the beauty I see everyday and share that with anyone who wanted to see things from my perspective. Doing weddings, and other shoots are a cofactor of why I became involved in photography but they are a benefit I am pleased to do and I enjoy the fact that people think enough of my work to privilege me with capturing such an important event in their lives. If you are still reading this post, than maybe you understand why I feel the way I do when it comes to people going to a walmart, purchasing a camera, and with no knowledge of how to operate the equipment, advertise themselves as professionals. I can give you a long list of people who do this, and have no idea how to shoot in modes other than full auto. Being no defense for this, we who understand terms like shoot the light, and composition of an image, are a dying class. I also have to mention that programs like Photoshop although have their uses, are not what photography is all about, and can only be used to create something that is not real. In this day and age these tools are necessary to compete with others who no longer understand the basics of photography but in fact know how to create images that are not real. Summary it is a funny world we live in and unreal takes priority over real. Adapting is our saving grace. Maybe that is the lesson we need to learn.
From my standpoint, a personal opinion is super seeded by an urgent desire to achieve successor an agenda, and these days the best way to make money from an industry that has been flooded by false compositions, is to sell your equipment. To test my theories on things I recently purchased a book known as the photographers market. I did so for one reason. To be successful as a photographer you need to be able to reach your market, or at least be known of in the industry. I read this book from cover to cover, and although some great point were made, I found the information in the title to be of very little help. I spent several hours composing a list of contacts that were related to my interests in photography. Then I wrote a very detailed document stating my intent and asked the proper questions regarding submission information and or guidelines. I also made it known that I was available for assignments and encouraged these publications to utilize me as a resource and to please check out my portfolios to see my talents.After doing all this,I received a response from one publication. Having submitted to over 400 outlets, I was disappointed by my efforts and quickly realized that the information in this book was not all it was cracked up to be. Almost feeling scammed, it became clear that the only one making money here was the publisher of the book and the author who wrote it. At this point it is safe to assume one of two things. Either my photography just plain sucks or the information in this book is not accurate, although the awards I recently received disputes the first thought as well as the past highlights of my labors and all the feedback I receive from people who place there trust in me to capture their weddings and events. Once again lots of questions to answer, and right now I am just tired of the word photographer and everything associated. With this being said,and still having a desire to shoot, I am going to keep it simple.I will shoot images for myself, and I will continue to share them with those who want to look. I have tried to keep things real, and despite comments like, He is that Damn Good, and We love what you captured for us, I simply cannot keep allowing myself to endure the disappointments that come from trying so hard to rise in an industry that is dominated with false representations of natural beauty. If it is meant to be, it will be. This post has been inspired by several events in recent days, and although it may seem dark and kind of rant, if you are still reading, I want to tell you, that although I paint the picture of gloom, my resolve for pictures has never been stronger. It is time to go back to the reason I take pictures, and say screw the rest.
I want to say thank you to those who have commented and inspired me over the years, and I also want to thank the many who have trusted me to capture your precious moments. You are the reason I do what I do. One final thought, ” It does not matter who we are, what matters is what we do.
Thank you for the read