Now that I am a full time photographer (among my other mediums) I am trying to figure out what exactly my niche is going to be. The problem is, thanks to my personality, limiting myself to one focus is an extremely difficult challenge for me. I have some “thoughts” on specialization in the art world which I will reserve for another time, but for the purpose of this post I think I'll just keep it to a simple “no thank you” to the popular definition of specialization and just make my own! Why? Why not!
There are three styles/or types of photography I want to focus on (for the time being). First, I think waterscapes will always be the most appealing kind of photos for me. There's just something about the water that is so... appealing. If I want to get all hippie-dippie for a moment, it's my “element,” for lack of a better term.
The second is the broadest of terms, “Nature Photography,” which really means anything from geology to animals to the night sky. It allows me the variety that I'm looking for with a name that people can understand when they ask what kind of photography I do.
Third and (not) finally, “Travel Photography.” I have what I've long-lovingly called, “gypsy syndrome.” Gypsy syndrome is simply this; I don't like to be in one place for too long. Consider this; I moved 15 times from the time I graduated high school in 2006 to the time I returned to Tigard to work for my father's firm in 2013. I moved for no other reason than boredom. By being a travel photographer I am going to get the stimulation I need, mentally and spiritually, in order to stay sane.
Why is this important? Well, as I have been applying to shows and galleries I realized I needed a larger direction. What's going to happen after these shows? What then? Well, do I want to simply just do art shows and Saturday markets, or do I want something more?
I started to contemplate a question that so many are facing; How can I do what I love and make a living doing it? I struggle with this question so heavily because there isn't just one thing I love nor is there just one thing I would like to do for a living. Hell, I can't even narrow it down to list of top 10! And before anyone says the phrase, “you have your whole life ahead of you, you have time,” let me just stop you now. We live in an extremely agist society, once you hit thirty you're either doing what will support you for the rest of your life or you're considered a failure. It's a negative perspective I know, and I don't actually support this view, I want a more cultural positive outlook/cultural attitude . However, the truth is, you don't have the rest of your life to figure out what you want to do, at least from a societal and cultural perspective. In all honesty, that's not something I want for myself regardless if the glass is half full or half empty. So how can I defeat this challenge and come out a victor? Combinations.
Combining two or more goals, styles, dreams, or mediums in to one is looking to be the best option for me, and one that I am actually excited about! I am considering doing a combination of travel photography and travel writing. Blogging is probably the most common form, but I also want to have my work in print for nothing more than sheer ego. WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO HAVE A BOOK THEY WROTE? That thing would be in every Christmas, birthday, and holiday gift bag for the next year!!! ...Okay, not really, but you can bet I would put it on my front entry table and causally point it out every time a new guest arrives, like any good host would, of course.
So this leads me to the point of this post: future plans.
Looking at my current schedule and potential schedule I realized that traveling more is going to be a real opportunity for me! YES! Domestic travel I think I could just pick destinations as I go, but for international travel I actually have a list. In order of my desire to go:
- Japan, return this time with my camera in tow and really take the time to photograph the areas in which I go.
- Iceland –
- Northern Europe
- South Korea
- Canada (Northeastern area)
Surprisingly, travel expenses are mildly affordable around the time of year I want to visit each of the aforementioned locations which is like icing on the cake.
My goal with my travel and travel photography is to not only have the occasional exhibition, but also to tell my stories in print. Blogging is great, and it can build an amazing audience, but print is something everyone loves. I hope to write small travel books, more memoirs, of my adventures in hopes of passing on all that I learn. Even if it's a simple 50 page pamphlet with TONS of colorful pictures and illustrations. Who knows?
I'm starting to have a direction, which is something I have never experienced before. Even though it's small and my internal compass will forever be spinning around like a drunk man on an office chair, it still gives me an achievable goal.
Baby steps... ugh.