"Sunshine in Your Heart"
I am seeing many blogs and articles lately that I suppose are there to challenge the average photographer. Posts about what's long out of style, what's the latest cool look, where the money is being made, where the money should be spent. Some make a living out of sticking their nose up at the learning photographer still calmly mucking their way through the world of pro photography, and some make a point of telling you to embrace every obstacle and seeing where it all leads.
In all of the mumblings, and overwhelming advice, I hope there are those who still encourage all artists and hobbyists alike to embrace whatever makes their heart soar. I mean it. If art is an expression of the artist's vision and purpose, then how important is it to stop emmulating everyone around you and just be you. Don't worry about what the trend is on 500px, don't fret over the fact that everyone else seems to have their act together, and don't sacrifice what only you can bring to your art for the chance to blend in with the thousands of others who are desperate to copy anything deemed the very best. Because at some point, on a whim, the powers that be will suddenly have a new "very best"... and it starts all over again.
As I work on a new business strategy (yep, STILL working on it... but that's okay in my world) for my photography, I still try to retain a grasp on who I am as a photographer and artist. Yes, I strive to grow. Yes, I try to hone my craft. But I cannot do well if my best is someone elses. Sometimes my need to just be me results in wandering through the local park and coming back with an image like the one above. An image to remind me that no matter what else I do with my skills, this is who I really am. I'm not sure we make an effort to know ourselves that well. We're too busy trying to keep up with everyone else and an industry that seems to be gathering momentum faster than a tornado in a trailer park.
Before you do anything else with your craft, make sure you remember to do whatever makes your heart sing. Whether it hangs in a gallery or hangs out on a website (or just hangs out in your craft room at home), make sure it's all you baby.
Thanks for the ramble gang.... and I'll try never to end a post with "it's all you baby" ever again. Well, hardly ever.