Moose asked an enigmatic-sounding question in commenting on the previous post.
"What is success?"
A very interesting question, I thought. k4kafka answers it in his comment to the same post: "How about 'Stop making ART...start making MONEY.' Now that's a T-shirt!"
Okay, making money...certainly one good answer.
But I thought I'd throw this open. Without going on too long about it, what does "success" with your photography mean to you?
I'll start. For me, it's averaging one to two "hits" per month over the course of the year. A few of those recently:
And possibly this too, I'm not sure yet (have to see it printed):
Plus two or three more I can't show you.
That's probably it for me...12 to 24 shots I really like in a year, that's success for me.
What about you? What does "succeeding at [or with] photography" mean, if you had to boil it down?
(Thanks to Moose and k4kafka)
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Josh Hawkins: "A: Making enough money that my kids can eat and have a roof over their heads. Without that everything else is meaningless. Once that's done... B: 1–3 good photos a year and 1–3 new images for a portfolio each month. That means a few images I moderately like a month. C: Learning something new at least every month and preferably every week."
Roberto Alonso: "Money, no way. I consider myself a relatively successful pro since I've been raising a family with my shots for the last fifteen years, but the photographs I hold close to my heart and make me proud as a lensman are almost invariably personal work. Will I be wanting one last look at the annual report corporate portraits I've done when I'm on my deathbed? I certainly doubt it."
Rodolfo Canet (partial comment): "Money? It is that we amateurs lose in spades, ain't it?"
Len Kowitz (partial comment): "For me it was the realization earlier this year that I had in fact found a 'body of work' in the prints I had been making. For me the 'body of work' idea means a common thread in the photographs that helps me present a coherent idea in multiple images not just a single photograph. As much as I appreciate a well composed photograph, the 'body of work' idea helps me think in terms of how the image might help me tell a continuing story, and I find that as I continue to do the work new ideas continue to arrive. It was a clarifying moment and for me a new level of understanding the work I'm doing and why I'm doing it."
Patrick Dodds: "Making a client cry! (In a good way.)"
Don (partial comment): "Success is a me word. It's about ego, desire, and ultimately envy. You long for it, but once achieved it loses its power."
Dennis: "I have a hard time applying the concept to my photography, since it's only a hobby. I can have success (or failure!) in any given opportunity, but more generally, photography isn't really anything I can succeed or fail at. I just do it.
"As Thomas Jefferson said, 'But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.' I guess success is simply finding time to get out and do it. Failure is failing to do it."
Ken Rahaim (partial comment): "My ultimate success came from seeing what my mentor described as my photograph taking on a life of its own. Generally, what he meant by that was seeing my photograph being reused for others' own purposes, especially years down the road. I've had this happen with about a dozen and a half photos over the past five years. For me, that's a very satisfying form of success."
Sal Santamaura: "Since I made the decision 43 years ago not to do photography professionally (i.e. not turn a nice hobby into a job), defining success for me is simple. If engaging in photography provides me pleasure, I've succeeded."
Glenn Brown (partial comment): "It has to be making money doing what you love."