Artists are funny people, you know. We don’t always fit the mold, and when we try to fit the mold, we lose a big part of ourselves, which can make us feel unsure of where we belong.
When you are a kid, you have big dreams, because no one tells you not to. It’s OK for a five-year-old to dream of being an artist. But what about when that kid is 25 and has to pay bills and be an adult and go to college and get a steady job.
I traded my dreams for paychecks for over 10 years. Albeit, not big paychecks – I became a social worker! But I loved learning about psychology and human interactions and child development. I even got a degree in it. I knew a big part of me wanted to help others and contribute to society in a positive way. However, I knew that working as a social work was not working for me.
Photographer Peter Adams said “Photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field”. As my photography studies continue, I see more and more that photography is 50% camera skills and artistic vision and 50% psychology. You can have the best gear and a well-trained artistic eye, but if you can’t connect with people and see the best in best in them, then your only half way there.
On Veteran’s Day a few weeks ago, I was hired to do a two-day photo shoot for an agency that provides housing for disabled veterans. The moms and children will all receive a copy of their portraits. Some images will be used for marketing material and some will be enlarged and printed to be hung in the hallways of the buildings. This job was a reminder to me that artists can, and do, contribute to society and humankind in a positive way by creating meaningful images.