What makes you stand out?

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The other day someone posed this question to me. “What makes you stand out?” It was a hard question that I really wasn’t prepared to answer. The person who asked the question is by far the most supportive person as far as my photography is concerned. She is also my staunchest critic and has at times been very, very critical of my work and direction. I knew right then and there that she wanted an answer and she wanted one that would take on biblical proportions. I had ideas and even a few well thought out answers but were they the right ones? Would it be the answer that I knew, deep down, she was looking for. I fought with the idea and even hated her for a moment. She was digging into my soul and I didn’t like it. I’ve been asked to write an artist statement in the past for shows and presentations and there is nothing I relish more. I tossed and turned searching for the answer that would satisfy the both of us. Yes, it sounds ridiculous but I was really being tested here. I felt like I was in the interrogation room and I was about to be water boarded. The next night we met up for dinner and she posed the question again. She split my work up into two categories. The work I do for the gallery and the work I do for my customers. I got really serious and asked that she not speak until I was finished. I thought of my clients and the work I do for them which is portraiture. The common thread and the things I here over and over. I make people see themselves in ways they’ve  never seen themselves before.

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 For the most part I make people happy and that’s the bottom line. I may know everything there is to know about photography. I may not be the best photographer. But my job is to make everyone I photograph feel beautiful and special. As I write this I’m realizing how corny and syrupy it might sound. But it’s true. She took some time to take it all in and then started in “but, but” No, that was it. That’s what you get.When thinking about the work I do for the gallery things came a little easier. I went back to the portfolio that got me accepted to SOHO photo. When it comes to travel and landscape I tend to see beauty in the things that most other photographers overlook. That part of my work has always been the thing she loves the most. The thing she says made her fall in love with me. She asked me why I hadn’t worked on that side of my art as much as the other in recent years. A lot of it has to do with the source of that work tends to get me in trouble with “The Man”. Being that a lot of that work is taken at train yards, factories, power plants and other restricted areas. I tend to get a lot of confrontations with angry owners, security guards and police. I’ve been chased, attacked, questioned and interrogated. All in the name of art. It gets tiring. Sometimes relaxing and taking pictures of beautiful women isn’t that bad. We’ll see.

2 thoughts on “What makes you stand out?

  1. nice blog, that’s funny that u talk about ur artist statment because i was just looking over mine yesterday and mine needs to be updated and i suck at writing lol

    1. Thanks Denise, artists statements have always been an extremely daunting task for me but I’m learning. I try to use a dash of history and use te testimonials I get as cheat sheets.

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