A Lesson in Putting It Out There

I have long appreciated taking photographs. I have been working on doing more with what has until now surpassed hobby status in the past year. The sudden feedback I’ve received has been tremendous, helpful, exciting and quite honestly unexpected.

I continue to rejoice on the opportunity to shoot anything where creative discovery is encouraged and while the greatest achievement is to eventually secure a path where I can monetize from what I would willingly do for free, Michael’s view has got me thinking that one’s work shouldn’t always be about expecting something in return but about what we can offer through that unique perspective from where we’ve chosen to represent a subject -

If you’re a photographer, think about how you might be able to use your skill to do something beyond getting your pictures in a gallery with a four-figure price tag attached. Volunteer to take portraits for a non-profit. Borrow a car and make a trek to witness a developing story that’s underreported.

If you’re sitting around waiting for the phone call from the New York Times or that downtown gallery, get outside and chase things down. Seek out the stories or situations that will lead to the kind of picture(s) you’ve always imagined but have never been able to take; on the street, or off.

One of the beauties of photography is that every shot taken will represent a unique moment in time where nobody will ever have seen or felt exactly what you saw or experienced in that exact light of day. Offering a photograph for public viewing is comparable to handling over a moment of my life as a gift and I have no doubt that Mitchell felt the same when taking these touching photos. These by far represent the style of photography I’m mainly drawn to and my goal is to be able to put together a project that is as inspirational as Mitchell’s work and as unique as Lisa Dowda and Liz Ligon’s Kickstarter project.

The basic idea is to volunteer your work with the intent to shed light on a matter that speaks to you and where the value derives from the work itself and not from any compensation.