SO often I hear younger, newer photographers/artists concerned with “my creative voice” or “my Style” as if it’s something one can choose/cultivate/manufacture; in this story is an example of how one’s personal artistic style comes naturally, or organically, from who one is, and have a Huge community resonance.
A few months (really? that long? whew!) ago, a group of friends and peers, all photographers, from my old community met at the New Hanover County Library to do more than reminisce. Not that there wasn’t some bemoaning of “young know-it-all digital wanna-be’s” and the decline in prices once billable for what we offered in services; yet what was also present was a renewed sense of appreciation for each other and our contributions. More than once on our last day, I heard “I’m pleasantly surprised at how this gathering went, and I’m looking forward to next time.” What we will do with that opportunity does remain to be seen, but a recent posting on the Rangefinder magazine’s blog, AfterCapture, brought it all to mind, again.
Here’s a line from that blog, by Ethan Salwen, to tease you:
“The majority of photographers I interview are between 45 and 55, and they possess a depth that younger photographers do not. Yes, there’s something wonderful about the raw energy of the younger photographers I meet. It’s just that this energy might fizzle…”
I posted the link to the Facebook page of a group of photographers here in Raleigh, NC, RPG (Raleigh Photography Group), and was rewarded by a message of appreciation. I felt compelled to respond, thusly:
As “wise” as we are, we do forget our own gifts, but most especially when we are facing so much change, around us.
Somehow, I think the trick may be to be Willing to change, And to keep true to what gifts we carry.
I think the day and the future are “right” to challenge us, so we don’t give too much credence to the husk of what we’ve made up about life, and so that we Do remember to stay present, conscious, curious, and grateful… therefore, growing.
Those who are making the day/future would also do well to listen and evaluate what we old-timers have to say, too. Neither is All right.. each has a piece of it. Only by taking heart and connecting with each other can we keep what is true alive and vibrant, I think.
Making new images doesn’t hurt, either, eh?
One re-minder that comes to me, occasionally, goes something like this: “you are most who you are when you are in the Turn from one endeavor to the next”.
(I’d love to attribute that paraphrase to whoever said what I’m paraphrasing, so if anyone knows where that came from, a comment would be welcome.)
I sometimes think of a line in (I think) a movie (maybe a play?) about a photographer, in which he says something like “you’d be surprised how few people will buy a nice photo of a tree”. (Somehow it reminds me of Clint Eastwood, in ” ..Bridges..”, but it probably wasn’t.) I thought of it, again, when this came up, linked in a posting by a fellow photographer, Sterling E. Stevens ,