Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You're Not Getting Me To Change

The other day, I was talking with somebody and she happened to find out that I was a photographer. I think I might have told her that I just got back from Santa Fe on a photo workshop or some such thing, and we started to talk about photography.

An interesting thing about photography, is that it's a bit like music and other art forms where there are many different types of photographers. For example, I am a fine art photographer, who does a lot with experimental photography. That's it. Kind of like how Slash plays "rock guitar" and isn't really in danger of taking up the French horn anytime soon now, is he?

So, back to the conversation. We got to talking and she started telling me how I should take a certain type of picture. How I should travel and take what I'd call "travel photography" type of pictures.

"That's travel photography," I said, "it's nice, but I don't really do that. I do fine art photography."

She kept insisting. "Oh, but you could go *here* and take *this!*" She was trying to get me to go to South America, Asia, and parts of Europe (the parts where not many tourists go, of course!)

Yes, I could. But I don't want to. That's not what I do. I take fine art experimental photographs. Really. Been doing it a while, I know what they look like. Seen 'em before and all that.

She kept insisting. She even showed me some of her work. She went here, she went there and shot this or that. Then she told me I needed to be "more like" this photographer or that one. Really?

I don't.

I know who I am as a photographer, and I'm not going to change suddenly. Seriously. What is it about people that makes them think that, after twenty odd years of shooting, I'm suddenly going to burst up, like some kind of "giant mushroom" and start taking sports photos, or travel photos, or, whatever the case may be? I'm not. Seriously. Not going to happen. Have better odds winning the lottery or getting to sit next to Brad Pitt on a cross continental flight in first class. Honestly. (Brad Pitt travels in a private jet, by the way.)

You're not going to change me, I'm not going to change, please don't tell me what to take pictures of, if it's such a great shot, take it yourself. If you don't like my work, that's fine, but please don't try to get me to change to fit your needs, wants, or desires because, well, sorry but that's just not going to happen. Not unless you pay me, and pay me a lot of money, because I have my own work to do and that's what I'm doing. I do work for money but you have to pay upfront and then you get to call the shots. Otherwise? Yeah, I'm doing what I'm doing, what I've been doing, what I'll continue to do, because that's what I want. Selfish, I know, but that's how life works sometimes, isn't it? We don't always get to call the shots, sometimes, if we're lucky, we get to call our own shots and, even that is often a bit of a balancing act.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that, I shoot what I shoot, when I want to shoot it. I do what I do. I make the work that I want to make. And I really don't need anybody telling me otherwise. If I even look like I need suggestions, well, sorry about that, it's not by intention. Go sell your bucket of goods elsewhere because, well, here? We just ain't buying. Like that line from Jack in the movie As Good As It Gets, "go sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here." And we are all stocked up here. I've got the birds stuck on a wall, the trailer with the pink flamingos, the oddball night shots, and the wacky cross processing to prove it.

Nope, you're not getting me to change. Sorry! Not taking up sports, travel, weddings, or cute kittens anytime soon.

Until next time...

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