Saturday, August 9, 2014

Nobody Cares About My Photographs

Endless Summer Wish - Stallion Springs, California
This is a photograph that I'll cherish forever.
I used to subscribe to photography magazines. Then I realized that I can get better information faster on the Web for free. There are a bunch of different blogs that I regularly read, one of which is Eric Kim's Street Photography Blog. Now I'm not a street photographer myself (although I do wander into that genre occasionally), but Eric has a lot of good rants on there.

One of Eric's posts is what inspired this post. This is not the first time that I've used one of his ideas. I've learned to steal like an artist.

One thing I have figured out is that nobody cares about my photographs. If I never created another image again in my life, there is not one person who would be heartbroken. The vast majority of people wouldn't even notice that I wasn't photographing anymore. Nobody cares about it.

Not even my family truly cares. They might think it is neat or cool, and give me some encouragement from time-to-time, but without a doubt my photography isn't a huge deal to them. Not one family member of mine is even a "follower" of the Roesch Photography Blog. But I do love them and I know that they love me.
On A Brighter Day - Tehachapi, California
This is one of my absolute favorite photographs, yet not many seem to like it.
I may get some "likes" on social media and some comments. Somebody might "share" my posts. Someone may have some really kind words about a photograph of mine. But how long will those images be in their mind? How quickly do they move on to whatever is next? That attention on social media is fleeting. Not one of those gracious people are passionate about my photographs.

Now I want to stop right here and explain that what I've said is not a knock on anyone. I'm not upset or bitter. The truth is that I'm just the same as everyone else. I don't truly care about your photographs or whatever it is that you do or create. This is just the way that it is in our society. We are all in the same boat. Could we and should we care more about each other? Absolutely! Do we? No, not really.

The one and only person who truly cares about my photographs is me. What this means is that if a motivation of mine for doing this whole photography thing is to be liked by others and have others appreciate what I create, I'll be disappointed. I have to find my motivation within.
Sister Feeding Brother - Stallion Springs, California
Many people may think this photograph is completely meaningless, but it is important to me.
How do I self motivate? That's a good question that I'm not sure I fully understand the answers to. But I'll take a stab at it anyway.

I must create photographs that are personally meaningful. This does not mean that I need a deep connection to all of my images, but I certainly need to create some photographs that will be priceless for me in the future. I need to capture the things that matter most in life more often than I have in the past.

I must create photographs that are pleasing to me. I've had more than one image that I was not all that happy with, but I shared it on social media anyway and it got a lot of positive attention. I've also had images that I thought were absolutely great that received no attention at all. Of those two scenarios, I'd take the latter over the former every time. I'd much rather create photographs that I'm proud of that others don't like than create photographs that I don't really like but others think are great.
Adventure of Summer Youth - Stallion Springs, California
This photograph didn't get a lot of attention, but I am so glad that I created it.
Life is too short to get caught up in popularity contests. It really does not matter how many thumbs-up or stars a photograph receives. A decade from now no one will remember or care, including myself. Nobody cares about my photographs except for me, and that's just fine.

I will create photographs to the best of my ability. If no one else ever appreciates my handiwork then I still have something that I enjoyed, that I'm proud of, that I appreciate, and that has meaning for me.

I have no control over how others think of, feel about or react to my photography, so I won't worry about it. I have to let go of what is out of my hands.

3 comments:

  1. This article caught my attention simply because I love your photographs and editing. You're a very talented / knowledgeable photographer. I completely relate to the content of this article since this is exactly how I feel about most of the crafts I dabble in. I do them because they make ME happy! I once read somewhere that since we are made in the image or likeness of God and He is the master creator that we can only truly be happy being creative in whatever way we are gifted. Geez, that was a long sentence, but hopefully you understood my ramblings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sarah, for your kind words. I do believe that creative people are meant to use their creativity. It is in our DNA. It is how we were made.

      Delete
  2. This was a helpful bit of wisdom at a moment when I needed a reminder that I don't do this for others. (But, still, I gladly accept any and all external validation.)

    ReplyDelete