How to have my photography appreciated, or mean something?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 17,670
"Man is a social animal"

river251 wrote:

...I don't exhibit at galleries, I don't sell photographs at the farmer's market---generally nobody sees my photos. And this seems to me like practicing guitar but never playing out at clubs, restaurants, etc.

...But the prospect of getting out with it has me asking, "for what?" I want people to see and appreciate my work (well not everyone would like every photo but you know what I mean). When people like it, and even better if somebody bought something---even for $10, I would feel actualized from my photography. It would feel good to work at it. I have a decent income from my day job; I'm not out to make a lot of money from my photography. But if nobody likes it, or even sees it, it all seems a bit without purpose….

According to Aristotle:

“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ”

Undoubtedly, there are those who think of themselves as gods (including perhaps some photographers), and those who are beastly probably won't be able to handle a camera well. But it should be obvious that none of us would be here without society, because human beings are not self-generating, and infants and young children are unable to take care of themselves: somehow, all of us has survived thanks to the often unrewarded efforts of others.

It's been said that if someone has an inspiration, talent, or skill for an art, then society is made better if they share it, and consequently, society is worse off if they keep their talents hidden.

Being active on social media is pretty much a requirement these days if you want to get your work out there, but I don't think you have to obsessively chase followers and likes. I do both Facebook and Flickr, but I don't get too particularly involved in those.

One thing I used to do, back when I lived in the city, was visit art galleries and opening parties: I made a lot of friends doing so, learned a bit about the art world, and got my work up on the walls.

 Mark Scott Abeln's gear list:Mark Scott Abeln's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D7000 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D +4 more
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