How to have my photography appreciated, or mean something?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,201
Re: How to have my photography appreciated, or mean something?

contadorfan wrote:

newnorm wrote:

IMHO, If you don't need money from your photography to put food on the table, I don't think you should care whether people like your photo or not. Just treat photography as your visual journal, and worry less about what other people think about your photography. Enjoy it as a hobby, without pressure. I'd love to have that freedom, but unfortunately, I can't.

That's the conclusion I came to with my own photography. As a beginner, I worried whether my pictures were any good, which meant 'Do other people like my pictures?" But I enjoy the process, the equipment (and yes, my results) so much, that I decided to not care whether my pictures appeal to anybody else. Because If nobody likes my pictures, then I ought to quit photographing, and that would deprive me of this fascinating hobby. Better to change my attitude to indifference about approval from others.

Now that I have 11 years under my belt and have a significant amount of work, photography has become a deeply personal thing. I assume it's the same for all serious photographers -- that one's own work resonates deeply & strongly within one's self, but not very much for other people.

IMO, most people don't respond to a photographic image unless it's a snapshot of smiling relatives or friends. Other subjects aren't that interesting. Photographs don't move people as readily as music does. Photography ranks with dance as an appealing art -- some like & get it, most don't.

I feel pretty much the same way though I've been doing this thing for a lot longer and I feel like it took me quite a bit longer than you to really feel like I was coming into my own style and to stop caring so much about what my friends and family thought of my work. I do however like to share my work, which is where a place like Flickr comes in - it's the kind of place where it's possible to connect with like minded people and create a kind of mutual appreciation society of other folks who really seem to understand waht you do as you understand the spirit of their work, however different from your own it may be. I don't want to give the impression though that only other photographers will be able to relate to work that's beyond the typical snapshot stuff that gets posted on social media. The fact is that most folks, even very intelligent ones aren't really visually sophisticated. The may indeed be capable of picking up on more subtle meanings in literature and film, but they likely don't consider photography to be capable of containing the same depth of meaning. Still, there are plenty of non-photographers, non-artist types who really do seem to have an appreciation for this stuff... It's really just a matter of not just showing your work to an audience, but finding the right audience for the kind of stuff that you do... which can admittedly be a difficult thing.

At the end of the day though, it's only you who has to be pleased with the work that you do. Find an audience for it, sure... but just don't make that the #1 focus or you're likely to be disappointed.

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