No matter what we do in life, I think we all need to have some sort of reason or purpose for doing it.
Now, I don’t mean to get to all philosophical this early in a blog post…but I was just sitting around here thinking about a possible blog or podcast topic and this popped into my head…
As I sit here in my studio space, I can’t help but notice all of these magazines I have piling up. A lot of them are just because I like magazines with pictures of hot chicks…I mean, who doesn’t? But I couldn’t help but realize that I am published in quite a few of them. There’s something really cool about holding a publication in your hand with your work or seeing a photo that you took just chillin’ there in the public eye. It’s pretty cool.
Now, I understand not all of us have the fortune of being published like that (and believe me, I consider it a huge honor and fortune), but that aside, I think we should all have a purpose for doing what we do…and as a photographer, that means having a purpose for what we shoot.
Not all of us do this for a career. I know a lot of us do this for fun because we love photography and we love the art of creating something. But even if we do this for fun, it’s good to have a purpose or some sort of goal we are working towards. After doing this a while, I can honestly say that going out and shooting just for the heck of shooting is fun, but sometimes you get to a point where you are struggling to find a meaning behind it.
Not every shoot has to mean something. Sometimes we just need to pull our camera out of our bag and shoot something just for the sake of shooting. But it’s nice to have a purpose. Shooting commercial work and print work, sometimes it’s really easy to find something…you have a client that is directing your vision. You know what your images are for, where they are going, how they are going to be used. But you can still achieve the same result without having the backing of creative directors or clients.
Whether or not you have the ambition or desire to get published, push yourself to get publish-quality images. Develop projects with your favorite models and shoot it…maybe collaborate on a series or some sort of coffee table book. There are so many services out there where you can self-publish. Books, calendars…the list is endless. Or why not put together some images to submit to publications. At the very least, there are local publications that can use various forms of art work…and you’ll never know unless you put yourself out there. Or just simply take your photos to the local print lab and get some prints made up. Hang em on the wall…
I have several of my shots in my office and at my house…my buddy Mike Prado (Pradofoto) has work hanging all over his studio. Not only is it pretty to look at, it’s nice to have it displayed for clients and others to enjoy. Pictures shouldn’t be locked up…they need to be out for people to look at.
Or put them in a portfolio book. I don’t even know if people use these anymore, but I still have a print portfolio. I haven’t updated it in a while, but I still use it. Like I mentioned earlier, there is something cool about being able to hold a print in your hand.
With this move to digital, I think we have lost a little bit of the magic of actually holding one of your prints in your hands. It’s a totally different experience. Sure, digital is a great way to share your work with more people, but having your work in print is pretty special and even if your images aren’t for magazines, go and get some of your work printed out and I think you will enjoy it a little more.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.
Happy shooting. ☺