Just a Cell Phone Battery
The other day a photographer friend of mine published a photo on his Facebook page. It was a beautiful shot of a pretty girl photographed at the beach. I commented on his page about his photo and said something like 'wow, you spent the day shooting a pretty girl and I spent the day shooting cell phone batteries'. He commented back, 'yeah, but you made more money'. It made me stop and think about that for a while.
Here is Stan's photo of Grace Bristol and my photo of a cell phone battery.
(to see more of Stan's work go to: http://www.stanliuphotography.com/)
Yeah, it does look like Stan had more fun. But the question it raised is am I in this for the money or do I have the passion that artists talk about? I became a photographer because it sounded interesting, fun, and kinda cool. I liked the idea of saying 'Yeah, I'm a photographer'! But by the time I graduated from college I was married, in debt and in a hurry to join middle class America.
Photography has been good to me. I have a nice house, three kids that we sent through college, a big red truck, a souped up Mustang and a hot rod Volkswagen Bus (see my blog entry: Buster goes to a show, Aug. 2008). Middle class America here I am.
I'm happy. I have a nice studio that I look forward to working in every day. I have clients. I do shoot a lot of boring things. Rarely pretty girls. But shooting boring things can be fun. They are a challenge, they have curves, corners, bright colors, reflective chrome, strange shapes and someone wants a pretty picture of them. I had a fellow photographer come into my studio years ago while I was shooting copy slides of some blueprints. He told me he wouldn't do that work, he only shoots advertising. Last I heard he was a salesman. So, I think I am creative, I am passionate about making my clients happy and I do work for money. I don't apologize. And I still feel good when I tell someone 'Yeah, I'm a photographer'. Maybe I should get one of those snazzy khaki vests with all the pockets!
Here are a few samples of weird things made pretty in the studio. Of course thanks go to Lois the good stylist.