How to have my photography appreciated, or mean something?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
MOD Smaug01 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,851
Photography can be an unselfish hobby

I think we all face this at some point.

  • Do you have a family? I've found my most appreciated photos are family candids and portraits, especially as the years go on. As a teen, when I got seriously into photography, my family would look at me like: "Oh, isn't that special, Jeremy has his little hobby instead of going out and being a bratty teen..."  I trained them not to pose; "just ignore me and I'll try to capture the real smile or a warm moment."  Now, many of those people are gone and the rest of us are much older, and the pictures are awesome to have. I have a pic of my mom playing the flute when she was the same age as I am now.  She was REALLY good. She taught flute and piano professionally when I was a wee lad. Now, she's pushing 70, has carpal tunnel issues and doesn't play flute any more.  Her hair is all white  now and her heart is going bad. But sometimes I look at that pic (I have a 4x6 above my desk at work) and my eyes start to fill up.
  • If you don't have family, do this at friends' parties and share them; people LOVE it!
  • If you don't have friends' parties either, I'd recommend joining art fairs. Reserve your spot, pay your $20 or whatever, make some prints of your favorite shots and sell them for enough to cover your supplies and to maybe buy you a nice dinner.
  • Failing that, one member here volunteers at a pet shelter, taking nice portraits of dogs and cats that might otherwise not have a good life. He figures a nice portrait helps get them adopted and that improves the animal's life as well as some family's. 
  • There is one guy local to me who takes photos at local events, and the local papers buy the images from him. Not much, just $25 here and there. He saved it up and bought the 70-200/2.8 Canon EF lens that he likes so much. Thousands of people are enriched by his photography.
  • Know what I do sometimes? When I'm out to the big city or to the zoo and about with my camera gear and I see some couple taking crappy smartphone selfies, I offer to take a real pic of them and email it to them later. Sometimes, they act like I'm a creeper and say 'Umm, no thanks, we're fine.' and other times, they're ecstatic.
  • I saw one article a year or more ago, where a photographer went downtown with his body, portrait lens, some duct tape and some white construction paper. He taped the construction paper to a wall on the city streets. He made a sign that said "free portraits". He set up shop and took folks' portraits and emailed them to them. I bet someone bought him a coffee at some point and I bet he felt fulfilled.

Photography can be an unselfish hobby.

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