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An Epiphany

Our ‘Here and Now‘ show was a success. The amount of work put in by everyone was worth it and I think everyone, who visited it, liked what they saw. For me, the outcome of that show has been more important than wondering if anyone else liked it: I’ve finally realised that the chase to make a living out of photography isn’t healthy and I’ve effectively stepped away from thinking one can do so.

A big statement, especially for someone who’s invested a large sum of money into a fancy MA, spent two years studying and traveling and then spent even more on a final project and show. There is, however, a big sense of relief that i’ve come to my senses.

My style of photography is different. Many might not like it, I might never get accepted into any photo agency and the frustration of dealing with photo editors, who just couldn’t be arsed about you or your work, is a futile exercise. I read Laurence Kim’s, a photographer and business man, sobering truths about making a career out of photography and the epiphany occurred: Daniel this is not for you.

I count many amazing photographers as good friends and I respect the fact they are doing what they do, what they love doing, they are much stronger beings than me, that’s for sure. The overall attitude in the photography industry is strange. You have the buyers, who are no doubt overwhelmed by the sheer volumes of photographers baying for their pound of flesh,  to the consumers of the medium, who baulk at paying for anything in this age of always on and instantly free and available.

There are articles that big publications take what they want for free, even when the photographer has said they can’t use them without paying for them.  If you knew what most big name photographers get paid for images, you’d laugh and think they were all bloody mad. I guess the more I look into it, with a clear head, the more I realise this isn’t what I should be doing.

So, as a result, I’ve decided to put two fingers up at the industry and move away from even trying to earn a single penny. I don’t need to. What I will be doing is shooting images and projects that interest me. If publications want to use them, I’ll let them use them on terms I dictate and I don’t give a monkeys what others think. Shoot for free, actually give time to others, for free, just because you can.

Greed is a big issue in todays society, everyone wants their slice of the pie and at 35, I’m in a position where I don’t need to jostle for small tidbits. Moving back to the UK has woken me up, I’ ve got some good projects lined up and I’m excited about what’s happening over the next twelve months.

Now, back to editing the last two projects…




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2 Responses to “An Epiphany”

  1. Damian Drohan August 18, 2011

    A tough decision for you no doubt. I know we had this discussion some months back. Photography is a terrible business model. Too many suppliers, and too many willing to work for free or very little. I look forward to seeing your new projects and to catching up, cheers, D

  2. Joe April 20, 2012

    Good on you for having the balls to write this, I’m going through the same mindset right now and i know I could never post it online.

    Your work is solid so keep making it and keep loving it.