A dream without action will remain just that. I don’t know who said that, and there are many variations but it is absolutely 100% true. The other day I did an art market/arts and crafts show. The weather (snow) put a damper on it, but I still sold a little. I noticed a trend this go around. A lot of people seemed eager to talk with me about how they, or a close family member was once “into photography”, they tell me about the 35mm cameras they once owned, or maybe even a medium format. I hear about darkrooms or children interested in architectural photography. But there’s a obstacle between them and myself and it’s literally the table of my wares between us. The difference is that I didn’t just think about doing all that stuff, I didn’t just “like” it, and I didn’t stop when I realized how crappy my photography initially was. I kept going, I honed (and still am honing) my craft. I went to all these places and took the shots, I asked models to shoot with me and I created sets from my imagination and limited finances. I didn’t stop there, I processed and printed the film. In fact I did LOTS of printing, and I still didn’t stop. I researched exhibition booths, I bought 100’s of matts, backing boards, and bags, I matted all my prints, bagged and priced them. I figured out ways to display them, hauled them all out to the show and set them up. The doing is the big, big difference between someone who wants to sell prints, and someone who is “into photography”. Perhaps it’s surprising, but perhaps not at all, generally the more enthusiastic someone is about photography, the less likely they are to purchase one of my photographs.
I’m happy to shop talk, and I realize they mean well. There’s still a somewhat-insulting inference that “I could have done this” that irks me a little because they obviously weren’t willing to bet the time and money on themselves to do it. And that’s precisely what a dream requires you do to pursue it. When you stop gambling on your vision, taste, and talent, you’ve given up on your creative dreams.
I hope I never give up on photography, but it can be a costly endeavor.