Saturday, December 18, 2010

What will you use the photos for?

Sometimes, before a shoot is fully arranged with a model, I will get asked, "What will you use the photos for?".  It's an interesting question.  Maybe it will be good to write about that - somebody might read this and have some idea of my answer ahead of time.

Well, if it were an ideal world. I would answer, "These photos will be published in a widely circulated publication" (fill in your favorit - web site, magazine, book, whatever).  That is my hope, and I should think in general, the hope of most any model.  I realize there are some models that might not want any of their pictures published, and for most models, some pictures taken that they don't want published (that's why I make a provision in our release agreement that allows the model to identify certain pics they would not want published).  But for most of us in this pursuit, it is something of a dream or aspiration to be published.

For now, my answer is basically this: to build up my portfolio and my aresenal of skills to pave the way to be someday published.

I don't know exactly how that is going to happen, but I do think it will happen someday.  I have been reading a bit recently about the different avenues a photographer can take to get his/her work published.  It's great to read about this, and become more informed.  I'm learning things that are already affecting certain things I do as I build my portfolio and collect more photos.

I expect that someday, somehow, some publication will get a glipmse of some work I've submitted, and they'll suddenly ask for MORE.  They'll want to see more photos of a certain model or theme.  So, I'm trying to do what I can to be prepared for that.  If a magazine sees a submission they like, I can't run out at that moment and grab the model and quickly reel of some more shots.  It has to be there in my portfolio already - ready to go.  Maybe I will not have done all the post processing work, but I've got the raw shots to work from if somebody asks for it.

As I become more aware of what it actually does take to get published, I'm feeling more hopeful.  Sometimes I can almost "taste" it - that moment when some editor responds to my prompt and makes a call to me to ask for more of what I've got.

Meanwhile, until that moment comes, I'll keep on thinking of new ideas and looking for new talent to build up that reservoir of what I think is interesting, and what might stir the soul of some other onlooker.  I'm enjoying the creative process for the sake of the creation, not for the sake of publication.  If I really wanted a guaranteed audience, I'd be photographing weddings.

Hope you'll join me in that journey.

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