I am a California photographer and my art can be seen here
I returned from San Francisco a couple of weeks ago where I spoke to a large group of photographers. It was very energizing and I am grateful to be given the opportunity to share my vision with other portrait artists. Thank you California photographers in the Bay Area for listening to my ranting. I hope I sparked some vision and hope into your photography studios and made you push towards excellence. Thank you for the many complimentary emails. I appreciate that you were inspired and moved enough to re-evaluate your own paths and make changes to how you see your photography and your vision.
Being a photographer is tough. Weathering personal opposition and trying to keep my vision fresh and present in my work has been a challenge. But I love challenges. My whole life I have seen things differently than those around me. Meeting other artists like myself I’m reminded that it’s very easy to feel like the outsider, and not believe in yourself for your vision. But I was fortunate in that I have a very determined and upbeat, albeit critical personality, like my mother. I am a fighter. I don’t give up.
The critical part of me sees things and says, “Hey that’s not right,” or “That’s how it should be.” As a photographer it helps because I can move my camera, move my photographic lighting, move my subject to make it right. I can make my vision come to fruition.
But living day to day and creating a photography business you usually have to come up against some type of wall, some type of stick-in-the-mud thinking, someone elses critical thinking. It’s very easy to give up your dreams when you hear the “have to’s”.
What I’d like to say to photographers is this: follow your path, follow your vision. You will not be happy until you do. But don’t copy other photographers. That’s not cool. That’s not your vision, but someone else’s. I never have copied other photographers and you can see where it has taken my vision by looking at my work. It is original. It is me.
I tend to think outside the box. That’s the artist speaking. If you stick to your inner vision that will also be the successful part of you speaking.
Over time I have pushed the naysayers and the “neggy-negs” away. It’s a freeing experience and one I don’t regret. It’s what you have to do to follow your calling, to challenge the laziness of rote, to push toward what you really are underneath it all. It’s what a creative photographer has to do.
It helps too to have a patient, loving husband who believes in you. And one who shares your vision (and is an amazing dad). I recommend that. But if you don’t have a wonderful husband I recommend positive family or community and unwavering friends.
I recommend vision.
I am a photographer. It’s what I do.