I have been reading more than a few books on the subject of photography lately. Also been hanging around some interesting conversations that have made me think (never a bad thing). Some of what I am seeing and hearing is this: specialize so that you will be known in that area. Presumably this would be true also because it would allow you to hone your skills in that area.
But I like to be different. And the last thing I like is to be pigeon-holed.
My photographic interests have evolved over the years. My current “collection” of interests is as eclectic as my taste in music. For me it is more a matter of inspiration than anything else. If I feel inspired, I’ll take a picture of whatever it is that made me feel that way. Could be a padlock, a surfer walking on a beach, a solitary cactus, or my family. There is no rhyme or reason to it. It just happens, and I hope I was smart enough to bring my camera.
Sure, it could be that I don’t make the absolute best image for that “category”, but if it is pleasing to me, isn’t that enough? Some people I know are too kind and tell me that I have “the eye” for certain types of photography, and ask why I don’t do it full time. The answers are fairly simple.
- I have a day job that I really enjoy
- I make a good living at said day job
- I have turned a hobby into a profession before, and I started to burn out
So instead I choose to keep this low-key, taking pictures at events I am part of, doing our family portrait or pics of the kids, and basically keep this fun. Does this mean that I can’t try to sell my photos? Of course not.
I can make this fun, and maybe make some side money from it too. More importantly, I have the freedom to expand my horizons. I love landscapes and flower macros and think I do well with them. I don’t do well with people (I am a computer geek after all), so that is what I want to work on next. But I can also take a time out and have fun making a stock photo when conditions warrant. I can be whoever I want, because I don’t have responsibilities around it, nor the trappings that come with that responsibility. If some images sell along the way, that’s great. But if I enjoy the pictures I take, then that is all I need. Just don’t tell me who I should be. My portfolio will tell you who I am.