I had mentioned that I was part of a London Photography group, which I enjoy, but much of my photography doesn’t necessary fit with much of what the group produces. My friend had mentioned friend, who was a photographer, had mentioned that photography, as with other art, is subject to fashions and taste.
This is the struggle I seem to face. Much of the photography I like to produce is not necessary the style of photography that is fashionable. It’s artistic, and often abstract. Feedback from viewers tends to be positive. But this work may not sell.
So what is the motivation behind these photos?
What I find is the photography people are willing to pay me for is wildly different to what I would prefer to take. It is often the wedding, christening or naming ceremony, shot digitally, and in colour, that pays for the often architectural, abstract and gritty photos shot on black and white film.
That isn’t to say that people don’t like my black and white photography. It can be well received, but the market can be fickle, particularly if you’re not a bit name. I have sometimes felt like I have two personalities – one that is more commercial and the other more artistic. While I can be creative when it comes to my commercial photography, I find it much more pragmatic. I am driven to deliver what the client wants.
My more creative and personal photography is much more driven by my voice. It is driven by what the world presents to my eyes. The intermingling and dance between light and shadows; the moments shared and the moments lost.
I find it interestingly, though, that Twitpic has changed their terms and conditions this past week so they can now sell users pics. While photography is competitive, someone obviously can make money from them. And Twitpic isn’t the first to try to cash in on creativity at the expense of photographers. While some photographers may not care if their whether they make any money from their snaps, who makes money from artists creativity has always been an issue – increasingly so in this increasingly digital age.
While there may be a divide in my photography, it obviously has value, even in the lowly ‘snapshot’.