People are always asking me what my photographic specialty is. Well, that's like asking an 18 year old what they want to do with the rest of their life. Who knows at 18 what they want to spend their life doing...what their passion is. How can you know that right out of the gate?
When I picked up my first camera as a kid, I no more knew where it would lead me than I do now. "So what's your specialty?" people ask me. Um...I like everything? Apparently that's not an answer. People that ask that question are serious and depending on your answer they either say "great!" and begin a conversation, or "oh..." and walk away. So, when asked, I feel compelled to give my pat answer and say "fine art". That usually generates an "oh..." response because no one really knows what fine art is. One could only imagine what they would say if I said, "I do abstract macro botanicals". They'd probably go apoplectic on the spot! That said, here's what I really do.
The work I love is what you see on my website - fine art. It soothes my mind and helps me create stunning work that by all accounts - people seem to like. The work I do for fun is on my Instagram feed.
To make money for living I do portraiture (personal and corporate), promotional photography, book covers, author photos, events, pet photography, special projects, etc. But, shhhh....! Don't tell anyone.
Being a photographer is such a blessing, why must we restrict ourselves to one genre? When you love what you do and do it well, every photo is an opportunity to practice your craft, discover a potentially new passion, and have fun doing it. When you get up every day and go to a job you love, it's not work.
I'm always delighted when I go out shooting and find a location that has something unexpected to offer. For example, I went out to an event called Photo Wild where the local wildlife rescue organization brings out their rehabilitated birds of prey - birds that have been injured to such an extent that they can't be returned to the wild. These birds serve as "spokes-birds" for the organization and photographers can photograph them in their natural (sort of) habitat.
Following Photo Wild, I went on a studio tour of local artists and discovered an Alpaca farm right in the heart of my own city! Albuquerque Alpacas. Who knew?! Well, not only did I discover this farm, I found new baby Alpacas who are drop dead cute! OMG!!! I'd never seen an Alpaca before and was I surprised at how friendly they are. Each has their own personality, they have big beautiful, expressive eyes, and their fur is sooooo soft. As members of the camel family, they actually look something like miniature camels - without the hump - but are much, much cuter. Then, while on a business trip to Chicago, I took myself off to the Brookfield Zoo for a day of photography and wonderment.
There are so many wonderful creatures in this world, and while it's a shame to have them restricted to one enclosure, Brookfield does a pretty decent job of making them comfortable in large areas complete with thunder and rain storms. I saw a big, scary, wonderful Silver Back Gorilla who was gracious enough to look right at me while I took his picture. Thank goodness for long lenses - wouldn't want to have a repeat of my wolf encounter! (See my blog post "Don't Try This at Home!") I also saw a Sloth Bear which I'd never heard of, and an Okapi, which looks like a combination of a very large zebra, a horse and a donkey, but is actually one of two members of the giraffe family - the other being the giraffe.
So, again I ask, with so many wonderful things out in the world to photograph, why must we restrict ourselves to ONE photographic specialty? Especially when it is our joy, our passion!
Until next time...