Saturday, June 30, 2007

How Many Photographers Does It Take?

Every Photographer should know this one. I believe the joke goes something like this: "So... how many Photographers does it take to screw in a light bulb?" I know you are all holding your breath waiting for the answer. OK, isn't it obvious .......... the answer is..... one, that's right, just one........ and 40 other Photographers to stand behind that guy and say...... "I coulda done that!" Well, that joke has been around for quite a while, and I'm sure that it wasn't created just for Photographers. I am certain that it applies to painters, sculptors, designers, software engineers and just about anyone who sees themselves as an artist of some kind. It's a common feeling to look at someone else's work ( art, design, photographs etc...) and imagine how you might have done it better. The envy you feel when confronted with another artist's exceptional talent and creativity is a powerful motivator; time to step up your game and show the world what you are capable of ! There is, however, a level of talent and innovation that stops you in your tracks and makes you doubt your own worth as a professional. These happy-go-lucky dabblers are almost always amateurs who do not depend on their Art as a sole means of income. They are students, hobbyists, housewives and others who still work a 9 to 5 job. For them, making images is the release from their stress and worries. I believe this says something profound about what can happen to your creativity when you make your avocation a vocation. Maintaining your enthusiasm and artistic standards isn't always easy, especially when you get the assignment to photograph some stiff looking senior executive sitting in a messy office with plain, unadorned white walls. Let's not forget the fluorescent lights that have sucked the color out of his skin and the desk full of crappy banquet awards and old paperwork. Did I mention the comb - over and the Harry Caray Signature over- sized glasses? Shooting in that kind of environment can really tax your creativity and make you wish you had kept your job at the 'Fotomat'. But for the endlessly gifted and visionary Dilettante who answers to no one but his / her self, there are no limits. Break out the pinhole camera or the Eastern European plastic lens 6X7 and create the next cover of Luerzer's Archive. When you can do anything you want, the sky's the limit! For the rest of us there's always those not so exciting and lucrative Pro - Bono jobs to look forward to.

So in my effort to motivate myself and my readers, I will create a new Link List on the right sidebar of this Blog. I will be featuring the Websites of the fantastically talented slackers who still keep a day job, yet consistently outperform us Pros. Keep an eye out for the new links. They should start popping up on the list within a few days.

Coming soon...