I have been blessed with excellent teachers in my life, one of whom is Pat Dixon, my high school photography teacher. I’d always liked photography, but his classes were inspiring to me, as was he.
As he still is, as a matter of fact.
I’ve been idly working on getting prints up over at Deviant Art (though frankly if you want to buy some you should go through me and not them; it’s cheaper and, er, I get a much bigger cut… :)), and, as frequently happens when I’m working intensively with my own photography, it struck me that I’m actually not a bad photographer. For some reason that always surprises me. At any rate, I said something to that effect on Facebook, and that I’d kind of like to pursue photography at a professional level, but that I don’t dedicate enough time to it.
Dixon threw my own words back in my face: Your advice on your website about writing is to “write 300 words a day, and in 10 days you have 3000″, no?, he said. So take ten pics a day. Of anything. Collect photos to play with. See “light.” Anywhere. 10 a day. In a month, guess what?
My *very first reaction* was to think, “But I don’t have enough *time* to take ten pictures a day!”
And my second was to call myself on my own bullshit. Because I do. Of course I do. Hell, Ted and I often watch a couple hours of TV on DVD every evening. If I’ve got *time* to watch two hours of television, I certainly have time to go out and take ten photographs.
It’s somewhat more true that–despite the sunsets–I don’t find a lot in Longford that I’m excited about taking pictures of. We don’t have a car, so I can only go where I can get on foot, which, if I’m writing full-time, is limited. Even so, twice in the past two days I’ve thought too bad I don’t have my camera when I’ve come on a scene, so it’s not as if my mild lack of enthusiasm for the architecture is really all that debilitating. It just requires a little effort.
–for example, had I had a camera at the ready I could’ve just snapped a shot of the kids outside on the green chasing a mallard out of their soccer game. So. The shots are there. It’s a matter of choosing to pursue them. And the *only* thing stopping me is excuses like the ones I’ve just listed.
It /is/ true I really haven’t got a clue how to go about *building* a photography business–attracting the website hits, setting up gallery showings, etc–but I’m pretty sure it can’t be any more difficult than, say, getting a first book published. I don’t know that I need to pursue it with that kind of dedication, because I do have a job already, but getting out and taking ten shots a day? It shouldn’t be that hard. So for the next month, I’m going to try to meet Dixon’s challenge, even though I’m writing a book. That’s the whole point, in fact. If I can do it while I’m writing, I can certainly do it any other time, and honestly, there’s no reason I *can’t* do it while I’m writing, unless I accept the decision that it’s not important enough. Which is possible, and that’s fine. But I’m pretty consistent with the “gosh, I’d like to do this professionally” thing, so it can’t hurt to put a little bit of effort in and see what I get out of it.
(x-posted from the essential kit)