Then she said, "What you mean you didn't bring your camera?"
As I write this, I’m looking out my hotel room’s window at Detroit’s gloomy, snowy skyline on Valentine’s Day. I’m here for the thirteenth annual Dirty Show and its Valentine’s Night event. The past few days I was in Orlando for Nude Nite. Both of these shows have become pretty big and display the work of hundreds of artists from everywhere in the nation. They’re not your usual art exhibit. Besides the art hanging on the walls, both have a carnival-like atmosphere with a stage show and models/performers set up or wandering all over. The sizes of the audiences are impressive too. They’re major events and I’m glad to be a small part of them.
I haven’t had much on my agenda other than attending the events. I didn’t actively pursue scheduling any photo shoots on this trip. So that’s left me with plenty of downtime to relax or think. One thing I’ve been thinking about is what I’d like to do next.
I didn’t want to book any work on this trip because I’m realizing photography keeps eating up more of my time. I have several ideas for artwork that I’m antsy to work on. The way I schedule my day into blocks of time, having a backlog of photography will keep cannibalizing the time I set aside for creating work. Sorting through and editing photographs is a much easier and quicker process for me. So I get that out of the way first. Without a lot of photography to work on, I can streamline my focus into creating work that has more of my core ideas and intentions behind them.
Working with models and taking their picture is something I enjoy but it needs to be scaled back. (Maybe you’ve noticed that I have already been posting photography less frequently in my blog) I’ve always regarded a majority of my photography as more of a side project. That’s because, for me personally, the images don’t have much to them beyond the surface.
On one hand photography is something I’ve been recognized for. It’s helped me make new connections and reach new audiences. In fact, the work in the Dirty Show and Nude Nite was photography. On the other hand, I don’t want to be pigeon holed as a naughty photographer. The attention I get for that is not always something I want. Nude photography will always get more attention on the internet. In the end all those visitors don’t do me much good since I merely regard them as window shoppers. They aren’t necessarily people who will be back and continue to follow my art.
I’m not done taking pictures. What may end up happening is there will be less photography in its pure form coming from me. It will have a tighter integration with my artwork, there may be more photo manipulations, and more photo shoots will be done strictly for reference purposes. A couple of paintings I have planned will be based on or built upon photos.
Some of you might be disappointed. Maybe it’s because you won’t see new imagery from me as often or you really like looking at photos of women who are often nude. If you’re the latter, I don’t need to cater to you. What I don’t want to do is sell myself short or remain stagnant. Isn’t the desire to push oneself further and explore creativity the mark of a true artist?
Note: This doesn’t meant I’m not scheduling photography sessions. I am merely referring to my personal work, which is separate from client work.
Also, I still have several photos that I haven’t finished yet that you will be seeing in the weeks to come.