A little different direction this morning – a “get real” if you will……I, Tory, figured either you can commiserate with me or snap me out of it. So here it goes…. :)
Someone posted this inspirational TED TALKS link on one of my Facebook groups the other day. As I do with most TED TALKS videos I sat there nodding my head in agreement and I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about it since. The main theme of the talk was “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it” - ok well some people buy what you do….but it entered me back into the deep dark hole of thought that is “are people hiring me because they took a spin on the yellow pages wheel and I was the lucky one that they landed on out of the 50,000 other photographers in Los Angeles OR are they actually hiring me because they like what I do and in turn WHY I do it?!
A little background, in my photography career I have gone from film, to digital and then about 2 years ago I switched back to film. In truth I had become a little jaded, i had let the “ease” of the instant gratification of digital camera take over the artist in me. I had become so obsessed with trying to get some look in post-processing that I had gotten kinda lazy on the actual picture taking….so the switch back to film for me was a rekindle of the artist…the ‘know the rules but break them’ kinda of artist. It brought fun back into the equation, and I fell in love all over again. I did that for me and assumed everyone would come along for the ride. I feel like my “voice” changed…it got louder in my head and I took a step closer to finding out who I was & want to be as a photographer. Not just a portrait photographer but someone who made art.
With this change came what I did not expect, which is resistance…not all but some, unhappy people, complaints. Some thing that literally make my heart so happy to do that I would do it for free if my kids did not need to eat or have shelter led me to unhappy clients because it is different. Clients that did not see what I saw, or what my photographer friends saw for that matter (hey, gotta get opinions when you’re in the trenches!!). I realize you cannot be something to everyone, that it is not about quantity or accolades. But truth be told, it’s REALLY hard to hear negative things over and over when you’ve poured your heart into something. And my spirit broke a little, my light has been dimmed so to speak. So that brings me back to my thought, do you do it for the clients OR do you do it for yourself and hope they like it? And for that matter how do move past the negative and not let it effect you…..AND more importantly how do you make sure you are truly attracting clients whom “get you” before the fact.
I don’t have an answer and I am not even sure this will make sense to everyone, I could be the only one……but this is the internal monologue in my head…..what I am going through at the moment as an artist, as a photographer, as a business person…..for now I hold on to what I love, to my passion, to the so called imperfect shots that make my heart go pitter pat and hold my breath with each gallery I post hoping they “get me”.
Thanks for listening.