Not too long ago I had a creative/personal breakthrough with my work. In short, it amounted to my snapping into clarity about what I wanted from my creativity, my profession, and ultimately, my life. A path to this subsequently emerged, and I’ve revealed the thrust of these epiphanies–without eloquence–on this blog over time.
In a wave or recent email and Facebook inquiries on this sort of stuff, I was tempted put together a summary post on the topic, but two things quickly crossed my mind:
1. My personal journey through these ideas is already sprinkled throughout this blog as best I can muster for now. An hour or two spent perusing will reveal what I’ve written.
2. A peer of mine, the talented and seasoned Doug Menuez, has recently summarized all these points better’n I could ever say it in one post anyway. From his eloquent essay for Editorial Photographers last fall:
…If you create a book [portfolio] that you think will get you work based on your perception of what sells, or on the advice of anyone who steers you away from your core, you have a complex problem ahead. Yes, you may find some work that way, which is really tempting short term, while you tell yourself you’ll do the real stuff on the side or in the future. “Show the work you want to get” is a lasting truism and if you have chosen to show work other than the purist version of your creative vision then whatever jobs do come in will be based on that work. There are many shooters who do this exact thing and end up with a middling level of success, stuck on a financial and creative plateau, slowly starting to run out of gas. After a few years they hate their their work and life in general. They are getting divorced or leaving the business or pursuing whatever diversion eases the pain. They are not living the dream. They are not challenging themselves creatively because they did not give themselves permission to be who they are as photographers in the first place. This is the road to being a burned out, bitter hack. Boring. But by defining what you show based on what you truly are and what you want to do, you create a self-selection process: you are not for everyone. You are different. Be courageous enough to show that you see in a way no one else does…
[Click the 'continue reading' link below.]
To read the entirety of Doug’s inspirational post, read it here.