Alabama Hills – Yes the sky was working this day!
Whose vision are you chasing? Chuck Kimmerle’s latest post is excellent, stop now and go read it. No really, go read it, it is essential reading. Alright, now that you’re back, his post validated what I have been teaching in my new lecture “Discovery and the Creative Process” The last slide in the presentation is a quote from Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” My commentary is typically something like…. in the end we need to be confident in our own vision, in our ability to discover worthy images that make our hearts sing. We should not be worried about what others think, rather we should be worried about how we feel about what we are creating. As Chuck says, and I agree, we are human so positive feedback is good and oft times welcome. BUT, it should not be why we make images. My friend Donnie Fulks said this when responding to Chucks post, “when I joined 500px, it took me about two days to figure out what kind of image will garner 5,000 views. Yes, I admit that stokes the old ego.” Then Donnie went on to talk about sharing a “personal favorite image” that only received 50 views let alone any likes. What now? Does he abandon his vision? Does he post only images that will resonate with others and get him to the front page, lots of hits? Or does he continue to create images that comply with his unique vision?
Might I ask why you photograph? Is it for the joy of it? To create images to sell? To create images so that you can earn a living? To create images that feed your soul? To create images that others like that make you feel worthy, stroke your ego? To create images that remind (memories) you of the journey you are on? Why? There is no right or wrong answer, however, I think it instructive to understand why we do what we do. I photograph because it feeds my soul. I don’t print many images. I don’t actively market my images for sale. I love the process of making and processing images. Yes, I enjoy the positive feedback, however, ultimately I’ve come to a place where I don’t need others approval to like what I produce.
So, whose vision are you chasing?