Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fear, Creativity and Portfolios


I try to consistently update my print portfolio with new photographs, but it is easy to get comfortable with what I already have in there. While I am always excited to add new images to show where my style is going, there is also a subtle fear in the back of my mind about how the new images fit in with my overall creative vision. It's silly I know, because after all it's my portfolio. It's my eye and it's how I see the world. It's pointless to let fear of other people's rejection influence what I put in my book.

We work in a creative industry that frequently ignores creativity. How is that possible you ask? Well, for the same reason I hesitate when adding new images to my portfolio. It's the fear of change . . . fear of doing something different and unproven.

I feel the photography profession is at a point where if you try to follow the old map you will quickly run into a dead end. The NY Times reported on this the other week. The map is old and doesn't account for new roads, tolls, roadblocks and wilderness. This leaves us with two alternatives . . . follow the old road until you run out of gas, or make your own map. I am working on my own map as we speak. It changes frequently, has many roadblocks and countless areas of uncharted terrain, but it's all mine. I'm the only one who can get to where I want to go.

So I'm going to add new images to my portfolio and the only requirement is that I like them and they represent my creative vision. They must be visually striking, intelligent and cohesive yet unpredictable. And maybe, just maybe someone will like them enough to hire me.

What do you fear and what are you going to do about it?

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4 Response to Fear, Creativity and Portfolios

April 16, 2010 at 9:13 AM

Here is to roads untravelled and not on the map. Enjoy the journey!!

April 16, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Thomas, I couldn't have said it better! Sometimes I think we get so focused on the outcome of an event that we forget to enjoy the journey.

April 25, 2010 at 5:39 AM

If YOU don't love what you put in your book then why will others. It's a valuable decision to put in work that you love. You will be rewarded for this path you have chosen!

April 26, 2010 at 6:46 AM

Jim, that's an excellent point. It almost seems absurd to put something in my portfolio that I don't love. If I'm not showcasing what I love to do, then why be a professional photographer? I sincerely hope that I find the right audience for the work I love. Thanks for commenting!

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