How to have my photography appreciated, or mean something?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Tuonov2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,989
Re: How to have my photography appreciated, or mean something?
2

river251 wrote:

Please don't get down on me for this, it's a bit of soul searching I'm doing as I move toward getting back into photography. I have not been doing much for a few years.

Essentially, I end up with thousands of photographs stored on my hard drives. There are a handful that I think are pretty good shots that I enjoy looking at. I'm lucky to live in a spot where, with the scenery here, I can go out and take great numbers of beautiful photos---give credit to the environment. But putting the effort into going out and shooting, or carrying my gear along as I travel, seems in part pointless. 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.

I've had a decent camera for ten years, and was able to recently upgrade to something nicer. 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.

I think I'm past the point of enjoying it for the pleasure in the process, and liking the occasional good shot for my own pleasure. I like it when I learn a new song on the guitar, and know that I may play it in public, by booking a gig. But how to get my photography similarly presented to and appreciated by the public? I've taken photography classes at the local college, and could probably put a photo or two in their show. But what if I did? What if I won? Then what? It seems like that would provide limited satisfaction for a few times, at best.

When I'm shooting, not only do thousands of shots accumulate on my drives, but thousands of other people are shooting and producing thousands of photos too. I feel my work is lost among the ocean of photographs out there. And there are many photographers who are breathtakingly good, at a level I am far from. Many of them are regulars here. I do spend time looking at DPReview members' work quite a bit.

I've been mulling about posting this, and finally did......

Jim

If you're constantly seeking validation from others to give your activities 'purpose' you're going to end up a very sad and miserable person.

Do things because you enjoy them, not to please others, if you don't enjoy it without that 'validation' you're doing it wrong...

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