Who’s the Photographer?
In case you only come to my website for the riveting blogs, I will let you in on a secret. I’m a photographer.
I have always loved looking at objects from a different perspective and capturing them “on film” (for those who are of my generation).
When I was in high school I bought a used 35mm Minolta camera. Each time I would get a roll of film developed, my parents would flip through the prints and inevitably say “That’s a good camera” or “That camera of yours sure takes good pictures”. I feel like on more than one occasion I reminded them that someone had to at least push the button (not to mention all the other settings), but it didn’t seem to ‘click’.
My camera (and subsequent upgrades) continued taking good pictures over the years.
With the explosion of Instagram in recent years a desire to get back into photography was rekindled. At some point I realized that I had hundreds of images on the laptop but nothing on the walls. An image saved but not shared has little value and offers no pleasure to others. It was time to start printing my images on paper and canvas.
I dabbled with a few enlargements and heard from others that they liked my work. I was convinced it was time to step out commercially and offer some images for sale.
A website was created (the one most of you reading this come to for blogs) but I almost felt like it limited me since I didn’t want to overload it with pictures. As I printed more and more photos I knew I needed to offer them at art and craft shows. Initially I had moderate success with that but then the pandemic wiped out every show in the region for months on end. It was not a good year for most small vendors. But now things are opening up again and I’ve done a few shows and preparing for more.
In doing an art show or craft show, without fail, there is always at least one person who asks the question: “Who’s the photographer?” Typically they are an older (than me) male, often with a military background. Once they identify who in the booth is the shutterbug they begin to describe their own photography equipment and skills, in great detail. I’ve been questioned why I took certain photos at that angle or why I didn’t edit them in such and such a manner. Then they normally recall the “best photo they ever took” and describe it in detail while they swipe through their phone trying to find it. (Because you ALWAYS keep your best photo on your phone no matter how old it is.) Recently I had one patron pat his pockets and determine his phone was in the truck. He returned three hours later with phone in hand and scrolled until he was showing me an image so dark I couldn’t make out what it was. I told him he should get it printed and framed so he could enjoy it.
I tell my wife that even if I don’t sell a print, I derive pleasure from someone else enjoying my photos, smiling at a familiar image, or recalling a fond memory provoked by the print. And I guess sometimes just my presence reminds someone that they too could be a photographer and share their life passion with others.
Depending on my mood, I might even tell those men that their camera “takes really good pictures”.