struggle

My "WHY"

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I get asked all the time, why as a man have I chosen to shoot boudoir photography?

The common and obvious answer would be to empower women and although this is true, my personal reason is a bit deeper than this... It's because I have daughters. Many women struggle with having a positive body image and this thought process starts at a very young age.

I see young children daily getting bullied for their weight, their hair, the clothing they are wearing and so much more. This behavior is hurting young women everywhere and the moment a young person accepts the cruel words spoken, that pain tends to follow even into adulthood .

I believe that boudoir can bridge the gap and help put an end to all of this so that the generation of young ladies following behind will follow strong, confident and empowered women.

My name is Brad and I am the owner of Visuphoria Photography

Putting Yourself Out There - Showing Your Work

For me this was one of my biggest struggles when I was first starting out as a photographer and believe me it was an ongoing inner battle, I was nervous!  What will other people think of my work? Will they say it sucks? Will they like it?

I was THAT guy who would only show my work to friends and family and of course the feedback was always good, which in hindsight was more of a hindrance than help when I look back on it now.  Showing your work to your family and friends is one thing, they are not going to tell you your work sucks are they? They are going to say the things they think you want to hear which doesn’t benefit you in any way, shape or form.

It’s very tough to put yourself out there, seemingly on display and sharing your work with a bunch of strangers. You feel vulnerable, naked and alone!  After all, this is something you created from scratch you put your heart and soul into this. Everybody is a critic, everyone has something to say. It takes a lot of courage. You are worried about being judged, what will everyone say about you’re work, I get it! You are going to get deflated and knocked down but you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and grab your camera and make more photographs.

You have to reach way down within and find the courage to get your work seen.  Get as many eyes on it as possible!  That way you find out what you need to work on and know which areas you need to improve.  There will always be areas you can improve on even after years of being a photographer and just as in regular life you are NEVER EVER finished learning.

One of my past photography teachers reached out to me recently and we were talking and he said: “…as artists, we thrive on encouragement. It's like the tide, when it's in it feels good and when it’s out, it can be damn lonely!” His words rang in my head for days afterwards. This really struck a chord in me and if you are reading this right now, you know who you are. Thank you for all your words of encouragement as of late, they mean a lot to me.

So people don’t give up!  Keep consistently putting your work out there. Yes, it is definitely not an easy thing to do but it IS necessary!

 

Photo courtesy of Linda Langerak

Am I a Professional - How Do I Know?

That’s a valid question to ask I would say. How does a photographer/artist know when they have reached “professional” status? I am sure all of us have pondered this question at some point or another in our illustrious careers as artists, whether it was when we were first starting out or a few years into it.
What types of things determine whether an artist is an amateur or a professional? This is a battle I am struggling with, in my own head. I am not a full time photographer but does that mean I cannot be considered a professional because of my current situation? My “situation” being I work at a full time job at the moment and am continually honing my craft on the side. I do have a photography business which I am running in addition to my full time job as an audio visual technician.
I currently show my work in local art shows, I have a web site, I have had paying photography jobs not to mention sold quite a few of my photographs to people. Does selling your work make you a professional? I am often curious as to what, how or even who for that matter, dictates a photographer a pro or an amateur?
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that all of the aforementioned criteria are contributing factors as well as (and I think this is a big one) having a “professional” attitude and knowing how to deal with and handle your clients.
This is just my two cents on the topic. A topic I find a very interesting. I wanted to stir up a bit of conversation on the topic and I would love to hear from you on the matter. What do you think makes someone a professional? Care to give me your “two cents”?