365 days to get out. The goal is to get out more days than ever. To get out everyday. What would we create if we went out everyday? And I say everyday, because I’m a street photographer and documentary photographer, but you could just as well build sets and work at home. But I mean if we went to work everyday.
At the end of the year, December 31, 2022, what would we have made? What would we have to show that would propel our career or put us closer to that book deal? It’s not like other people who’ve published books are any more talented, or have any better ideas than we do. They often just did the work, and publishers are looking for quality work
You know where no quality work happens for me? When I’m sitting at home on my easy chair, feet up, TV on. (Which isn’t often–I’m not a TV watcher, but you get the idea.) Someone wise once said, “Nothing great happens when we’re at home in our recliner. Relaxed and comfortable.”
We have to be pushed out of our comfort zone and do something that challenges us. What is that for us, a gallery show? A print sale? A showing of our work in public in some form?
What do we wish we could do but are afraid to try? I bet the barrier is slight. Once we apply ourselves, the obstacle doesn’t seem daunting at all. But before we try, forget it.
I had a gallery show at a local coffee shop in 2021 that features local artists. They need art. They were happy I pitched my idea to them. They looked at my site, said, “Ok,” and got out a book and put me on the schedule. It’s not that tough. The barrier to get over is low.
What’s your goal? You can get a show. It will take a bit of asking around, but you can do it. I know you can. Again, they need you–they feature artists and they don’t want their bookings to go low.
They don’t want to run out and have empty walls.
We can do so much if we just ask. There was a photo project started by a woman who photographed women prisoners serving life sentences. She photographed them outside of their prison clothes and didn’t disclose their crime, which made them appear like you and me–they were like you and me. Someone interviewing the photographer asked how she got access. She replied, “I called up and asked.”
There are countless stories like this. If you want to photograph at the top of the tallest building in your city, call around, find out who to chat with. You might find out that you can easily get access.
Access is everything.
Get going. Make the call. Then make another. Try something. Then try something else. The more we work, the more we make. Before I arrived at the brewpub tonight, I had the idea for one photography essay. This is the fifth I’ve written.
The muse exists. I know her well. But she only visit when she finds us working.
Get to work. Don’t wait for inspiration to start. Start and you’ll find a way. That’s how she works.
It’s a wonderful new year!