12.08.2016

Michael Johnston's blog made me stop and re-consider why I have spent most of my life as a working, commercial photographer. It's got to be more than just permission to play with cameras....


I may be doing the whole career thing incorrectly. At least according to the smart people on the web. The two opposite descriptions I hear (or distill from what I read) are that one is either rushing all the time, working 12 grueling hours a day, and still struggling to make as much money as a fast food worker or, that the very few people at the top are so talented and so sought after that their lives are a non-stop swirl of photographing super-models for the tiny handful of posh, fashion magazines, interspersed with jaunts to Nepal where they hang with the Dalai Lama and sport climb Everest with celebrities (with whom they are very, very close friends...). Please don't write and pedantically correct me; I know the Dalai Lama actually lives in exile in India. Richard Gere told me while we were on a "hang-gliding with the condors" getaway, up in the Andes.

To further break down the mythology as it seems to be understood by the non-working hobbyists, the top photographers rarely have to do much beyond point their cameras and click as they are served by an ever growing entourage of helpers, assistants, agents and personal chefs who deflect the rigors of the working life details so that our "hero savants" can channel up enough energy to "visualize" the reality we all want to see so badly.

On the flip side, the rest of us are holding up heavy cameras and long lenses (which we really can't afford; will never be able to afford...) for hours and hours a day, day after day, for weeks at a time and we're still so poor that we sleep in our cars. Or