I have 11 questions for you. You can answer by replying in the space below this post, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d prefer to send a direct message to me.
Or you can answer them just to yourself. I hope I’m giving you some things to think about with this post, and there’s no need to share unless you choose to.
Here are the 11:
- What do you most like to photograph? Is that where you focus your energy when making photographs? Why or why not?
- What is the purpose of your photography? Is it fun mainly because of the instant connectivity with others so you can share in real time: “Look what I’m doing, see me here”?
- Has audience response tailored your photography? Do you make more of the kind of photographs that people respond to, that they hit a “like” button on?
- What is the end goal for your photography? What good is that digital file after you’ve posted it on Instagram and Facebook, and texted it to friends? Or stored it on your phone or cloud? What’s next for it, or is it done–that’s the end of it?
- If you print, what do you print and where do you display your work? Local galleries? Coffeeshops or office lobbies?
- Do you gift your printed work to others? Have pictures hanging in friends and family’s homes? (Photographic prints in frames make good handmade gifts.)
- If you don’t print, is there any future use for your work? Online for people to peruse if they choose, perhaps on your web site or in a Facebook album? And if so, does anyone ever do that?
- Do you do photography as an amateur (for love) or professional (for pay)? If you don’t need to make money with your photography, do you still seek payment to give yourself validation as a photographer?
- What does photography give to you that you need to make photographs?
- Are you more interested in gear or photographs? Do you tend to spend more time reading photo books and web sites with other photographers’ work, or gear reports and reviews?
- Do you know who you are as a photographer? Has your style made itself known to you? What is it?
The answer to those eleven questions say a lot about each of us, if we’re honest with ourselves and our photographic pursuits.
For me: I am a photographer who is mainly interested in photographing people and stories. I’ve been a photojournalist for my whole photography career, so I do work professionally. I do print work for gallery exhibits as well as gift framed photographs to family and friends and have work hanging in many home galleries throughout the world. I don’t modify my work to get likes, and I don’t have large followings on social media–I don’t post regularly to foster follower growth as that’s not important to me. I know what kind of photographer I am, I recognize my style, I believe it feels genuine and authentic. That’s my goal. I live to make storytelling work and make photographs every single day, it’s how I interact with my world.