..too many photographers are looking to get known for great work before they are really MAKING great work. As a result they aren’t making the great work for which they’d get known. “Getting known” is a by-product.
If you’re looking for fans before you look for critics, it’s a good sign you’ve got an opportunity to get better at what you do.
David’s weighty articles are never the type I can comfortably read without truly having time to myself in some far away corner, where I can recite, in a low voice every single word, so that it sinks it further. This article is no exception. In fact, it’s resonated with me more than I anticipated and not because I’m the type that obsesses over wanting to be “known” for my work but more so because very often than not, we photographers at some stage get easily caught up with always wanting to shoot and be active but not always having a direction or a purpose for it. When you fail to have a purpose, that path that could potentially lead to our work becoming recognized becomes nebulous.
David goes on to say:
Everyone wants to “get known” as if that means anything on its own…but that question can only be answered when you know what it is you want to say.
I always joke around in saying to others that it took many photographs of sunsets and puppies to ultimately reach a point where I recognized what I enjoyed shooting which I narrowed down to lifestyle, portraits and travel. Anything before that period, I was shooting everything and at that phase, there was no reason for me to have complained about not being “known” when I didn’t know who I was myself.
In the event that you’re unaware as to why you want to be “known” other than just saying that you do, then perhaps you might want to consider answering these questions to yourself that David put out there for people to consider:
What do I want to be known for? Am I creating work right now that reflects that? Am I really ready?