My Mantra: Make Your Photographs, We Need You!

I see a world full of people who don’t try, who don’t seek to have their work seen. Who don’t believe in themselves. Who think they have nothing to say. Who are either unmotivated or inertia is just too great to overcome.

Or the alternative–those who strive to be like someone else. Their idols. The photographic legends. Another Avedon–“See my white wall”. Another Arbus–“Wow, these people are out there!” Another Erwitt–“Look at my funny dog shots. I’m funny.” Another Winogrand–“I have that dutch angle down! I haven’t made a level horizon since 2007!”

We don’t need you to emulate them. WE HAVE THEM!

No one else makes this photo the way I make it.

This is the one thing I say over and over and I guess it’s my theme. My mantra: We need you.

We need your work. Your vision. Your view. Because no one else can make what you can.

And if you don’t, if you don’t create it and get it out there, the world will be worse off for not getting your art, your photographs. We really need you. You hold a special and unique place with your worldview and your ability to express yourself as only you can. I can make my work that is my view, but I can’t see through your eyes. I can’t make what you can make.

Neither could Avedon, Arbus, Erwitt or Winogrand do what you do. They could only do what they do. But not what you can. Or I can.

If there’s one thing you can count on, one thing to take into the new year, that’s to make work that expresses how you see, what you think, where you find yourself. It’s the only work that will excel and rise up to the level or art that others are interested in, and it’s the only art you can make.

It’s your truth. If you dare to share it. If you are willing to put it on the line and say, “This is me, not anyone else. Do you like me?”

I will like you because you gave me a part of yourself. You put out something truthful.

I am sitting at an open mic in a brewpub writing this, and there are various musicians playing. Anyone that plays a cover I listen to like wallpaper–nice, it’s familiar, but nothing is on the line. Anyone that plays an original, now that’s the point of an open mic. To put your own songs out there.

Your own view. Your own art.

Because if you don’t, we are left without. We are worse off. We really need to have your art, your view, your heart, your work. Not a “cover” photograph, but your original one.

I am intrigued thinking what you will bring me. What you will share. How you see the world. And how you translate that into photographs.

I really hope you do. Bring it.

Bring it!

Want to support my shows? You can, just visit this link at Paypal, or go to to add your monthly contribution to keep the lights on!

Check out my YouTube Channel of Photography Talks: my 6×6 Portraits Blog (you’re here) and my Daily Photography Podcast. Thanks!

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