What are you going to do with those?
That’s the interrogation I’ve gotten from my wife, more than once, in reference to my photographs. “Those are nice, but what are you going to do with them?” It’s a good question – what AM I going to do with them?
The deeper question that nags at any creative person (I won’t use the term artist, as I’m not sure what distinguishes a true artist from the average creative person) is why do they do what they do? What drives them to pursue, for most of them, a modest bit of recognition and even more modest financial gain. (In fact, it is financial loss for many of us!)
The approach I take to photography is definitely creative. I’m selective about light conditions, and careful in composition of the photograph and technical operation of the camera. After “capturing” the image, I will usually make subtle adjustments to things like contrast and brightness to attempt to convey the feeling I want the viewer to have. And in the end, I will often make what is hopefully an arresting print of the image.
I would say that the creative process is my primary motivation for photographing, followed closely by the time spent by myself, looking at the world for things to photograph. If that were the end of the story, I would still do what I do. But ultimately most of us who create want more - we want people to appreciate our work. So how do we make the results of our efforts available for the enjoyment of others?
The internet is perhaps the way to reach the largest audience, and it is for this reason that I created my web page. If I post to Facebook many people will see my work, but that venue is the place things go to be passed over far more quickly than I care for. Instagram might be a shade better, but it is my hope that the galleries at this web page encourage viewers to linger a bit longer with each image than they would when viewing it on a social media platform.
Although physical prints seem a bit out of fashion, I feel there is no substitute for drawing a viewer in and getting them to remain engaged with a photograph for some time. The challenge is finding a place to show prints where they can be appreciated. I have recently stumbled onto a wonderful outlet for sharing my work. A young, community-oriented couple started a new bookstore, Canvasback Books, in the town where I live. They have graciously allowed me to hang some of my images in their store, and I’m thrilled with the venue – it is very tastefully decorated and arranged. My work really has a chance to shine there, and I’m quite thankful for the opportunity to show it on their walls.