I've been practicing photography for about 2 years now. I'm always reading and watching videos about how to be a better photographer technically as well as from a business perspective. There is one thing that always comes up in the "how to's" of other photographers that seems to elude me...the blog. "Create a blog" they say. It's supposed to be a great way to drive people to your website by always having new content, and thus make your site more appealing to the search engines. Easier said than done.
I can' t tell you how many times I've stared at that cursor. The same thoughts going through my head, "what do I write about" and "why would anyone want to read what I write anyway?" There are a million and one "How to" blogs with regard to photography discussing everything from DIY backdrops to the intricacies of perfect exposure and lighting techniques. It's been done, so why bother?
I hate the idea of being like everyone else just for the sake of being successful. After two years I can't think of anything to offer that hasn't been done over and over. So, I started to think about what really drives me in my photography and not only as a photographer, but as a person.
When I began I just wanted to be a good photographer, to take technically good pictures because I knew how to work my camera. I tried to focus on taking pictures that I thought were marketable. Babies and kids in cute outfits on a cute backdrop with cute props and that "straight out of sears portrait studio" look because that's what I thought people wanted. And then I got bored, and I realized I had lost sight of what I really wanted and if I lost my passion for what I was doing, what's the point?
What I want is simple enough. To create beautiful images. To make something that someone (even if it is only me) will look at and love. The hardest part as a photographer is the constant conflict between the purist and the painter. Photography has plenty of people who think only something minimally touched by editing is real photography. So, I struggled with trying to figure out if what I really wanted to do was really even photography. I thought "Maybe they're right" "What if I am just a lousy photographer with Photoshop skills?"
Finally I said, Forget it. It took me a long while to get over that way of thinking. I realized that the part I love about me the most is the part that says, "I don't care what anyone else thinks and I don't care if I never make a single dime on my photography" because all I really want to do is create beautiful artwork....Sometimes that might be a simple portrait that I hardly touch with editing and sometimes it may be a completely made up world (like the time my son asked my to make fireballs come out of his hands or when another wanted to fly) but whatever it is I am creating I want it to be because I am inspired and not because I am worried about what will sell.
The only thing I really know through this journey is that nothing is more important than being who you are. And, if you do what truly makes you happy nothing else really matters. I will write about what I am working on or what inspires me at the moment because there is always a story behind what I create and even if not a single person reads my blog, I'll be doing what I love.