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Photography Goals

My photography goals are mixed right now. I guess the reasons I haven’t tried to sell my photos full time are mostly my own, but also environmental. One of them is our travels, the difficulty of finding shows and impossibility of toting around a stack of glass frames or keeping mat board from getting dented. Another is the response I get from Etsy. People just don’t seem to be interested in buying even semi traditional photography yet are buying photo-shopped images of things like ferris wheels and girls in fields with a vintage haze applied to the image. I guess I’m just not into dreamy, wistful imagery like that. I like the mental journey you can take looking at a photo that is surreal because life is surreal, not because the image was faked to seem that way, but I’m more open minded to the idea here and there. Very few of my photos are photo-shopped because I believe life is beautiful enough without “vintage” effects or fake borders. I like to represent what I see in my mind in my photos and usually “in camera editing” or choosing the right camera and film does a pretty good job without any post editing. Life is surreal and can be represented to others if shot right.
I do like using Photoshop for story telling or effects once in a while but not enough for what seems to be “popular” right now. Maybe my photos really just suck that much more than someone with cute little pictures of trees on hills and carousel horses..probably that. It’s also becoming more and more clear why most photographers do ok for themselves, they shoot weddings and babies which I completely refuse to do, not only because I am not “nice” and “smiley” enough to deal with clients in a face to face way but also because I’m just not interested in either weddings or babies. I like other people’s kids and all, but I don’t find them as cute as cats or dogs and I don’t like fluffy pink and blue things or making babies look like peas in a pod etc…I also don’t like gender profiling so I would totally put a little girl in a sailor suit and a boy in a tutu. Now, photographing pets is something I might consider one day if we ever settle down. I love animals like fat kids love cake.
Lastly, the fear of failure is probably the biggest holdup on trying to market my photos full time. I’m not really sure where my photos fit into, travel magazines? wall art? post cards? I have a bank of travel images 18000 deep but I don’t photograph cafes or pleasant public spaces and don’t like traditional travel photography. I like National Geographic of course but for me, the crisp, bright colors and exact representation of reality if stale to me. I prefer the grittiness of cities and the uniqueness of nature in the places I go, capturing strange lighting or the texture on an abandoned building, I like hiking into the unknown and walking through dangerous neighbourhoods and having a story to tell with each photo. Basically, I think I photograph things other people don’t see and don’t care about. People seem to want to see themselves (humans) in realistic situations that make us look cool/interesting, whereas I am more interested in the animals of a region and the region itself in its most humanless form. I just don’t think I have a nitche people care about.
So, will I ever make a living off my photos? No idea. Unless I somehow pick a collection or theme to show in a gallery or cafe and somehow it hits it off I don’t know what I will ever sell more than a few photos a year.

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