As planned, we met with our friend, A., to review his photographs. What a great 2 hours we spent, looking at images, dissecting them, talking about what makes for a compelling shot.
His enthusiasm is infectious. His sense of composition and placement on the page is innate. He's off to a very good start, indeed.
He had great questions, most of which we could not answer except with another question:
How do you get better? Keep making photos.
How do you make money to support the habit? I dunno, kid, if you find the answer please let me know. What makes for a good portrait? S. suggested that including something in the background that is representative of the subject often works. Something that gives the subject context.
The real kicker question for me was: is it worth it if you can't make a living at it? My answer went something like this: What if your life's passion was sailing? Would you buy a boat and take it out on the water as often as you could, for the sheer joy of it? Would it matter that it was a financial investment that would see no financial return? No. You'd do it because you love it.
I came to the conclusion, years ago, that whether I was financially successful at photography or not, I wanted to keep doing it. Because I love it. It is the rare bird that parlays their photographic work into a viable financial enterprise. I know many excellent artists, photographers, painters, musicians, ceramicists, writers and poets. Very few make money at it. All hope to be recognized some day in some way, but that is not why we do it.
We are looking forward to friends visiting this weekend, one of whom is a brilliant landscape photographer who is self-taught. He took up the craft long after I did, and, in my estimation is technically light years beyond where I am. That's his passion. Much to his wife's chagrin, S., P., and I can get really caught up in "photography talk." We have to remember that there are other things to talk about. Like food. Like the best method for roasting a whole chicken. Like reminiscing about favorite vacations and meals we ate while on vacation. That sort of thing. I'm going to sign off and make myself a pastrami sandwich.
Have a great weekend, whatever you talk about, whatever you nosh!