There are a few different mindsets in the photography community. One is that of the business person who just sees the dollar value of the product and service and despite what they say, from my experience at least, they just don’t understand the artistic side of things. Which leads to another mindset of the artist who just wants to create and be hired to do what they do. Then, and this is a newer one, there is the self promotion whore. This is the person who thinks everything they do is gold and must share it with the entire world all the time. You can’t go on Facebook without seeing a new post from them and they are talking about how much everyone loves them.
I saw a post from a photographer who was talking about someone who was unhappy with their service, their blog post was like 5 or 6 of mine in length, and I think I’m long winded sometimes! They were, in my opinion, trying to turn this into something that might go viral just to promote their business. Honestly I am so sick of photographers like this. Sure, maybe I lean a little more to the artist side and just want people to hire me for what I do, but I do understand some self promotion and the fact that you need to make money. Here are some tips I think nobody will listen to.
First, be dedicated to who you are. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, nobody else will either. Next, don’t listen to critics, ever. The last time I checked a critic never spent money on me and never paid any of my bills, but my clients have. Getting a critique from someone you respect is much different than listening to someone who blabs on and on about other people’s work. This brings me to my next line, I’m quoting Lester Bangs in the movie Almost Famous “Be honest and unmerciful” granted this was advice to a critic, but this is how you should feel about your work.
This isn’t about over selling yourself, this isn’t about posting constantly and just saying you are proud of your work, this is about owning it. People may hate it, people may call it names and talk down about it and may call you names for what you do. Any artist who has made a name for themselves has been through this and if you want to succeed you need to push forward and let them say what they will. I have been called many names over the years and I think my next project just may cause people to continue to do so and guess what, I don’t care. Not because I have no feelings but because I cannot care about what others think of me.
I have been around long enough to know that I must do what I see in my head. I have no choice in the matter, good bad or indifferent I have to do it. I’m working on a whole bunch of new ideas for boudoir photography that will not revolutionize the industry, but it will definitely make what I do something that not too many other photographers would be willing to do for their boudoir clients!
I am never sure what category I fall into so I just tend to stick with my own and see what happens next. Welcome to my world, now you can see why I call it a playground. It’s fun, you get to play with cool things and every now and then you fall down and get hurt. This is what it is all about for me, the adventure and the artistic release. Can’t wait for what is next!