I’m ranting. It’s rant time for me. It’s rare so I’m going to indulge myself a little.
I have a very delicate grasp on my abilities as a photographer. I ride a roller-coaster of feelings towards my images. Some days I’m full of confidence and I look at my images with pride, but most days I don’t. Most days I think I ought to ebay everything and just do what I do best; Write high performance C++ code.
I so wish I had confidence in myself. I so desperately wish I did. I see some terrible photographers who ooze confidence. Professionals that churn out crappy images and get paid for it spouting about how good they are, how they have won awards for this and that, how they have been doing it for 30 years.
I’m not jealous of their success. Heck, I say good luck to them. If they are doing what makes them happy and people are willing to pay for it then it’s a win-win situation for both the photographer and their customers.
What I am jealous of is their seemingly, at least to me, blind and unerring confidence in their abilities and their products. I look at their work and see terrible lighting, bad composition, ill conceived concepts and poor implementation. Yet they are undeterred.
When I first started shooting models I wanted to produce art. Art that people might buy. I sneered at mono works, considering it to be only porn turned black and white. I later learned, for myself, that mono focuses the attention, makes you work a little harder for any titillation there might be in an image and so I became addicted to mono. I shot in mono, with the intention of mono, I saw in mono. But more recently I’m coming back to thinking that mono art nude is just porn again. Sigh.
I had a portfolio review some time ago where I got shredded. Some bad things were said and the comments really hurt. I was told to put some clothes on my models and go back to shooting basics and learn how to light properly. I was told that I had only one good image and that I had ruined it with the post processing. The guy that told me this is an award winning photographer. He had some great wedding shots but his modelling shots didn’t inspire me in the slightest but his comments did. “put some clothes on your models” made me think, and has continued to make me think…
Am I creating crappy images that are only good because they have some hot young woman nude? I’m starting to think so.
I had been developing a plan for a series of around 20 linked images, all quite different but sharing a common theme. It would probably take a year or so to complete it what with finding the right models, getting MUAs and the accessories I might need…but now I’m thinking I ought to write code instead.
I’m actually a rather good software developer. I have been writing in C++ since before there were proper C++ compilers (using the cfront preprocessor, ugh) and I’ve worked on software that has shipped to millions of people in multiple languages. I’ve worked on web sites that have generated tens of millions of fully delivered dynamic pages every month without a glitch and I continue to do so now in my day job.
I had dreams of being a successful photographer but now I seriously doubt it. I look at my work and don’t want to shoot nudes any more due to the disparaging comments I have had. I don’t see the bad lighting that has been mentioned but then I wouldn’t because I thought it was okay. I don’t see shots ruined by post processing because I rarely use photoshop for anything other than putting a logo on the image and most of my shots could have been shot on film for all the PS they have had.
I dunno. I feel miserable because I have a cold, I feel miserable because of negative feedback, and I feel miserable in general.
I’m not after sympathy. I don’t want any comments telling me “love your work hun” or “don’t listen to the haters” because they don’t do any good. If I’m to be something, be it a photographer or something else, only I can do it. If it’s the right path then I’ll learn my lessons and improve. If it’s not then I’l learn my lessons and move on to something else. Simple!
Anyway, rant over. I feel a little better for letting it all out, lol.
I’ll leave you with a shot Artemis_D5 and I made on Saturday when we went to Wales and sat on the beach. Yeah, I know it’s not a beach shot but the little ruined castle behind the beach was nice ;-)