I sometimes feel as though the entire world of photography is self imploding. I was browsing instagram and found a photographer who shoots a lot like my older work. Like a lot of her work is shot exactly like the editorials I was shooting almost 4 years ago, but she is getting a ton of work! Which is awesome for her, but then I saw her selfie and it kind of clicked. She is an attractive woman, former model who is now a “creative director” and photographer. And this is the new world of photography.
You now have to give yourself the title of “creative director” when years ago it was the photographer’s job to come up with the idea anyway. Then people just wanted to come up with the idea and didn’t have the talent to pull it off so they called themselves “creative directors” and hired a photographer. It looks like now photographers are back to being the creative behind the image but now have to title themselves as such.
But back to this other photographer. She does good work, no doubt about it she knows her shit. And she has figured out how to use social media to book some big gigs. But her selfies also get huge amounts of likes because she takes photos of herself in cool clothes, revealing clothing and so on. Basically she is using the same tactics I talked about here before, sex sells. She is attractive and uses this to her advantage.
I don’t blame her at all. Plus like I said, she does good work. So where does this leave someone like me? Honestly, it kind of leaves me out in left field because she is doing the same quality of work, she has some amazing models she uses on a regular basis and she has built a brand. My experience is no longer relevant when it comes to work like this. I can accept this.
I also met another photographer who is in his last year of art school and has no clue how he is going to make money as a photographer. First, what in the hell are they teaching at art school? Get at least one solid business class in there! But he shoots a lot, and does decent work, but he has no leads, doesn’t want to shoot weddings, doesn’t want to shoot the “boring” stuff. Well, that is what usually pays. If you don’t want to do that, just get a job that pays the bills and then focus on creating art. A lot of people do that, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
But once again, I’m kind of stuck in the middle. This is where I tend to rise above and push myself to do something different. The editorial world isn’t completely there for me these days. I’m an artist of a different breed and only have a handful of solid collectors of my work. Not enough to live off of. So what am I to do?
I’ve been focusing on the positive side of life lately, less ranting and more observing. Maybe I’m turning into an older and wiser Average Jim? Or maybe I am just doing what I want and finding creative ways to get paid?
One of my favorite models came to visit the past couple of days and I love the energy she gives me. Roarie is just a huge ball of positive vibes. We had some big plans to shoot some crazy stuff but then I had realized that it had been done before and I didn’t want to copy anything. And as usual, I just kind of flew by the seat of my pants and we created something that we had no plans of creating. This is where my talent lives.
We shot portraits, we shot lingerie, we shot fashion/art stuff. I am so very happy with the results. It is something different and something I most likely cannot recreate exactly. It was the moment, it was only for us to have and these are the moments in my photography life that I live for. This is the work I want to do. Moments which are fleeting, moments that cannot be recreated, moments in between moments.
I love creating concepts, I love coming up with ideas, but I also love running with impulsive thoughts and just creating the work I wish to create at that very moment in time. Inspiration is a funny thing and when it strikes I do not hesitate. I have said many times that luck is the result of hard work and skill, and I do get lucky quite often!
I may be out of the loop on some things, but I am right in the groove when it comes to some of my other work. This is where I like to be, just outside of the box, but close enough to see what others are doing inside to make sure I don’t fall through a crack and go back into the box.
I may not have a clue what is exactly next for me, all I know is that I am going to keep taking photos, I will keep shooting weddings and portraits and fashion and nudes and whatever else I want to shoot. I will sell art prints and more. My online shop is nearing completion, The Archives are still moving forward and I am meeting new people who wish to collaborate with me.
I’m an old school guy with new tricks and doing what I can to stay ahead of the game. It is risky, it isn’t for everyone, but with great risk comes great reward. So far I have lived my life this way and I am still here taking risks, I’d say so far so good. I’ll take it and run with it. I’ll also keep you guessing as to what is coming next. 😉