Friday, July 31, 2015
I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Been thinking about my role as a photographer. Been thinking about what it means to take pictures. What it means to photograph these people, places and things. I'm nearing my age of thirty thinking about what I've done and what I've accomplished over the past few years. I'm not making any money photographing, rather, in a stable job jotting down numbers and moving files. I'm contracted by the state and given many tasks to complete daily. I've recently been promoted to a team lead position that will probably keep me busy for a long time.
But I'm still not making money from what I learned from school. So...... what am I doing with photography right now? I thought I would be working for a company at least doing retouching and such. I thought that I'd be doing small photo shoots and get paid massive amounts of dollars doing them. I thought I'd be doing a favor for all those individuals that needed pictures to share with family and friends.
It seems to me being an artist these days means being self indulgent. I'm sure most artists would disagree towards this statement, but I feel like I'm not really inspiring anyone nor helping anyone with the work I create. I think, with this mindset, that my purpose as an artist has strayed because of my own selfishness. Or..... my work just sucks. Either the two I still feel guilty knowing that I've spent years not considering this medium to be used for a good cause.
I recently threw a show involving three other photographers. This show was to help benefit animal shelter charity. I can't think of anything better to set my heart to. And you know what? It felt good. It felt good because my purpose as a photographer is clear. This is what art is supposed to do. In my opinion this is what helps people come together. And that's what I want to have within this community I'm starting to be apart of.
It's hard to look at photography news these days. It's hard to see how much negativity the community could bring towards other photographers. It's a competition with no real reason of people being competitive. It sort of sickens me to know that this is what photography has succumbed to. In fact its made me realize how artificial photographers or just artists have become.
Photography to me is not enough anymore. From now on I think being a photographer has to involve helping others/benefiting good causes. Because I'm in a good spot in life I want to be able to have others experience the good. I want to provide them help with what I can offer and not have any expectation to receive. And when the results of my actions are shown then I'm seeing my success as a photographer. I'm succeeding because my art is actually making some sort of difference.
I am a photographer. I am an artist. I'm not expecting to make any money doing what I love to do. I just hope that my legacy will one day be recognized to help inspire others. For now the road to helping others continues.
I want to thank everyone an anyone that has helped me through this process. I'm blessed by all of you. New things are in the works and I hope it will bring new levels of support I can provide. For now... thank you for everything.