Response to Zack Arias

Response to Zack Arias blog for Scott Kelby::

So people started RT-ing that Zack Arias blog from a couple of months ago again today.

Zack is questioning what is important to him as a person as he struggles to reason why he does photography and what direction he should take his work, and although I found the blog to be very interesting and moving, I’m not sure that I can (or should) particularly empathise with his predicament..

A lot of his issues with photography actually made more relevance to me as a analogy to my life as a whole rather specifically relating to photography. For me photography is a hobby that helps me escape finding reason in my everyday life. I guess that is what a hobby is. Something you enjoy doing, but don’t rely upon.

I love both sides of photography and I see there are 2 major elements, one being going out and taking pictures and the other being processing them. I enjoy both of these. Justifying my position as a ‘photographer’ is not something I think I want to have to do, I just go out, take pictures that I think are nice, and then share them with friends. I might personally consider them to be ‘art’ and others might give me feedback both positive and negative but I try not to beat myself about whether any of them are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. I put those in inverted commas as both are purely subjective. Maybe they’re all rubbish! 🙂

Photography must be the most popular creative art form at the moment. It is so accessible that a lot of people are producing a lot of images. Whether you treat it as an exercise in excelling at a technical ability or, the using of technology to express your artistic creativity; it is easier than ever before to produce a decent picture. So many of the pictures getting blogged are so similar, we all try hard to give our images a personal touch, a little tweak that makes it uniquely ours. Perhaps this is the true art form. This almost falls into the arena of marketing or advertising (was it Marshall McLuhan who said that advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th Century?) and I can understand that there are great marketers who can be successful with an average product. Is that art….  who knows.

I guess what I’m trying to get to is that Zack’s excellent piece should not be a death knoll to ‘average’ photographers, but a warning to pros and a call to arms for amateurs. Don’t worry about your art, so many people are trying to be great photographers, if you want to be ‘successful’ learn how to market yourself. If you want to enjoy your photography and share some nice pictures, get out press the shutter.

Comments (4)

  1. Ron in L.A.

    I was at a balloon event a week or so ago that was overrun with people wielding their entry level Nikons and Canons while falling over each other for the same exact position. I just grabbed a seat. It was something to watch and more entertaining than the event itself.

    I tried to explain to my 12 year old son who went camera crazy while visiting me for the past month, that while you have a camera pressed to your face, you miss out on the overall experience of whatever it is you’re doing. Sure it’s great to make an image to take away but unless you’re getting paid, it’s not worth missing out on the entire experience.

    It’s not just a photography thing though. Problems and angst usually develop when your avocation becomes your vocation.

    Just my opinion.

    R(etc… )


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