Applications, Submissions and Rejection

Fear of rejection is a huge thing and I believe it lives in all of us. For some it hides in the deep recesses of our minds and for others it is right there, constantly in the forefront. It’s there in varying degrees depending on the individual and there is nothing wrong with that, it’s natural. Nobody wants to be rejected be it by a member of the opposite sex, not getting a job we applied for or in an artist’s case, not getting accepted to exhibit in that art show or gallery or even a magazine submission.
The result of this fear can be absolutely paralyzing to some that it can even prevent a person from going after what they really want in life. Now to me that’s heartbreaking! We have all faced rejections in our lives at some point and survived the trauma to talk about it. Hell, maybe some of us have even laughed it off. My point being: it will not kill you, it will only strengthen your resolve! In fact, I have had a recent string or run of rejections. I didn’t get my work accepted by a gallery. I didn’t get a job I bid on and I didn’t get accepted to exhibit at a show I applied to and all of this taking place in less than a month’s time. Lo and behold, here I am still standing and talking/writing about it.
You are going to get rejected but you will also go on runs of good things happening and feel like you just can’t lose or be stopped. You have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. As Chase Jarvis says “get used to hearing the word NO”. In this business and in life, the sooner you learn and accept that the better off you will be.
There are always going to be people that don’t like your art or what you are doing but don’t let it discourage or dissuade you. There will also be people that love your work, your style, and your art. Just don’t let rejection and disappointment get the better of you or get in the way. Never stop creating and go after what you want in life. Make it happen, make it work!


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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”?

Is Photography Art? Should Photographers Be Considered Artists?

I have heard a lot of chatter and read a few articles relating to this subject as of late on the internet. It does pose an interesting question for sure but I think the answer is really, well, subjective as is art. Think about it, what you and I may consider or deem to be art, the next person looking at the exact same thing may feel and/or think it isn’t art at all.
Firstly, I have heard a lot of people say that photography isn’t art. How is that possible? A photograph is what that person is seeing with their eye, through their viewfinder. It is their interpretation at that precise moment. Is that not considered art? Secondly, if what a photographer does is considered art, then by all accounts a photographer should be called an artist! Do these people or photographers really even give a shit if their work is called art or if they are considered to be artists?
Art by definition is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
I guess what I am trying to say is, if it feels good or feels right to create something, to express your creative skill and imagination then just keep on doing it. Don’t fall into the trap of worrying about whatever it is you do being labelled art or being put into the box of being called an artist. Just enjoy the process of creating and be proud of your work. First and foremost create for you.
Happy Creating folks and just keep on doing what you love to do!

Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone - Make Yourself Uncomfortable

This past weekend, I attended an amazing boudoir workshop with the incredible Jen Rozenbaum as the instructor put on by Henry’s Camera. Over the past few months I have become interested in and fascinated with boudoir style photography. I have even toyed with the idea of exploring it as a genre of photography to add to my skill set/repertoire.

First, let me say that Jen is an absolute master of her craft. She makes it look so easy and believe me it is anything but. There are so many moving parts to a boudoir shoot. Most importantly of all of them I believe to be giving direction, posing the model correctly and communication. Being able to communicate with the model is integral in order to produce the best possible images and get the best effort out of your model.

I am new to this genre of photography and even more so to giving people direction. This definitely took me outside my comfort zone. It was a tough thing for me to do however I did come out of it completely unscathed and alive. I must say it’s an incredible feeling to accomplish something by pushing yourself past the point of being uncomfortable. One could argue that unless you are pushing yourself to the point of discomfort you aren’t progressing. I can honestly say I wholeheartedly agree with that argument.

There was a point in the workshop where I wasn’t feeling comfortable getting up in front of 15 people and giving the model direction or instruction on how to pose so I decided to sit the session out. Jen came and sat beside me and asked why I was sitting this one out? I told her I was brand new to this type of photography and I was incredibly nervous about standing up in front of all these people and directing our model. She turned to me, very simply and matter of factly said to me “That’s ok, I still get nervous sometimes”. This really resonated with me and made me think: If this woman who has been doing this for 6 years full time professionally and still gets nervous, then hell yeah it’s ok for me to be nervous too!

Stepping outside your normal routine, your comfort zone, is a very beneficial thing in more ways than one. I recommend that everyone do it and do it often. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Yes, you will definitely feel nervous, scared and uncomfortable but this fear can fuel and push you to new heights and discoveries about yourself. What’s the worst that can happen? You learn a few things, experience new things!?

This was an incredible experience and I am glad I pushed myself to experience and take part in this workshop. I look forward to doing more stepping outside my comfort zone a living a little more in my yikes zone. Try it and enjoy the ride!