I want to clarify something, based on the messages and emails I received in the last day.
I am still making work. My work isn’t really straight photography like it was before, but the work I’m creating now, in many ways, is better. This is just my opinion, but I think the work is not only better it’s more interesting. Photography is a PART of what I’m doing but not the primary focus. I’m doing this for a variety of reasons, but primarily I’m doing this because I want to. Remember, I was a photographer for roughly twenty years, and I really felt like I had done it long enough. I don’t want to be a photographer any longer. I don’t want to make pictures for other people, and I don’t want to do assignments. This week I was contacted by a German company and a US based company to do assignments and I passed both of them along to friends. Absolutely nothing wrong with either of these inquiries, it’s just that I don’t have the heart to do it any longer. On a similar note, several of my portrait clients call and email each year asking for me to return to the saddle, but I can’t do that either. I miss the kids I grew to know, but I can’t go down that road again.
Also remember I came up during a time when photography was viewed and treated in a very different way than it is today. In some ways I feel like I caught the tail end of “what once was,” and how things are being viewing and handled today don’t feel the same to me. I want no part of it. I know other people who love it and think that things are better today than ever before, so whatever makes you happy is what you should do.
After making 170 publications with Blurb I finally feel like I’m starting to understand what is possible, and frankly I haven’t scratched the surface. NOT being a photographer has given me all the advantages because I have total freedom and am under no industry restrictions, restrictions which are frankly holding back so many talented people. I’m branching out in my little Blurb world, branching out to illustrators, designers, artists, street artists and anyone else who isn’t afraid to take risks and break with the traditional world. Photographers, sadly, are rarely in this space. I find most pros have limited grasp of what a platform like Blurb really is, and most are waiting to get a traditional book deal, even when that means ten to fifty thousand dollars out of their own pocket. Think this is rare, think again. It is the norm. Again, I love traditional publishing, buy traditional books all the time, but this is ONE path, not the only path, and certain people understand that and others do not.
I am a VERY fortunate individual. I get to work with creative people, make projects and get to continue to explore the world. I have art materials on my fingers, film in a truly strange assortment of cameras, paper in my journal and a desire to help other folks figure out what it is they are visually searching for. Things are good.
My advice for today is do something you don’t know how to do.