It's been a while since I wrote or have even thought about writing a blog. This was due to me spending the best part of June and July in my sick bed and generally feeling sorry for myself. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but after two rounds of antibiotics and 37 straight days of painkillers, I am now back to feeling like myself again.
I often think about myself as a photographer, where I'm going and how I'm gonna get there. Like any other journey in life, it very often doesn't turn out how you would like. We can't all be Ansel Adams or Art Wolfe, but it's finding a point in your photography that you're happy with. The images that I take are not to please other people, I take them because I enjoy taking them. If other people also enjoy looking at them, then that is a success.
People have asked me in the past, "do you do weddings?" and "do you do portraits?"...those two questions literally send shivers down my spine and an all over fear of dread! I understand that there is money to be made in weddings and portrait photography, but would it make me happy?...no way!
This makes me happy:
Going out to photograph my favourite waterfall, clicking the shutter and seeing the the preview on the back of my camera just how I had envisaged it...there really is no better feeling. Then getting home to realise that it's actually a lot better. That is a success!
Social Media has certainly played a part in how photography is shown to the world in 2018. From Instagram and Facebook to other platforms such as 500px, it's so easy to get your work shown to the world. With almost every single person having a smartphone in their pocket, photography has never been more accessable, however good photography is sometimes hard to find! A lot of Instagramers crave 'likes' and you'll find a holiday snapshot with 10,000 likes. I am not one of those people and for me, being featured on a feed that I follow is a success. In fact that happened this very morning, when this image was featured:
I may or may not get followers on my Instagram feed because of it, but to see my image on another feed is defintely a success.
The most difficult thing that I ever have to do in my photography is price my work for sale through my website and my recent exhibition. Too much and people won't want it, too little and I'd certainly not be putting the correct value to my hard work. I've recently sold this image from my exhibition, to a local person in my area:
Every image I take means an awful lot to me, in fact I can remember where every single one was taken and the circumstances it was taken in and that's why I price my work very carefully. I'm quite happy to walk away from a sale if the client isn't happy with the price, and I've done that just this year. A website (that shall remain nameless) wanted some of my images for their site...they asked me for a quote and I gave them a price for a license of 12 months. They rejected my price for reasons that I won't go into and I walked away! However, I still regard that experience as a success...they looked at my images as something that might work for them and I stuck to my guns and didn't back down...defintely a personal success!
So, success can be interpreted in several different ways. It can be the image you have in your head that you finally get to make. It can be recognition by someone that you admire. It can be a sale or a non-sale. Success doesn't have to be how many zeros you have on your bank balance and probably shouldn't be. Success is what makes me feel good inside, it's what makes me feel happy.