Flashback, warm nights, Almost left behind, Suitcases of memories, Time after…— Cyndi Lauper
Recently a reader sent me an e-mail suggesting I wrote a post about “how my own photo career has evolved, from an amateur hobbyist to a true professional with a style all my own.” I had already decided to write a whole book on that subject and it’s called ”A Life in Photography.” The book is currently in the final editing stage and although I can’t provide a synopsis in the space available, I’ll include a few snippets.
I made the image at right in the 1970’s; at that point I had been making photographs since I was eight years old. It was shot while attending the Maryland Institute School of Art and well on my way into Phase Three of what I like to call a photographer’s three phases of development. If you missed that post you can read it here.
At that point in my photographic life two things were happening: I was deeply into the art and craft of photography with an emphasis on the art. I shot, processed and printed all of my black & white images that were captured on film and along the way begin to feel that I knew everything there was to know about photography. Hubris? Yes, and we all know how that worked out for Milton’s protagonist in Paradise Lost.
Somewhere along the way, reality set in and that included making money with my photography. The motto of the studio Mary and I opened in the 1980’s was “for the art of photography,” but it was immediately apparent that commerce became more critical. Artistic impulses remained somewhere in the back of our minds but at that point craft became more important. That’s because we needed to deliver the highest possible quality images for our clients.
When we sold the studio (there’s more on why in the book, but it was health related) things shifted back to the artistic side but something else was added to my personal journey. Take the image immediately above—that I just made on Monday—for example. In my opinion it’s nowhere as good a photograph as the other image but it represents where I am now with my photography and that’s all about having fun. You see, something else happened during this transition and has carried over to this day: I discovered how much I didn‘t know and that why these days I try to learn something new each day.
Joe’ self-published book ”A Life in Photography” with a Forward by Rick Sammon will be available real soon now. When it’s published, there will be a month-long giveaway with a signed copy given away each week. Stay tuned…