© Stephanie Lange
There's a nice interview with Darius Himes that went up on the Hey, Hot Shot blog yesterday. He ends with the following, which I find quite inspiring:
"I would advise photographers, particularly ones right out of school, to be in this for the long-haul. Being a working photographer or artist is a lot of work and you can't complain about how tough it is. Be upbeat, be confident, be persistent, and above all make work that is important to you. That may sound way cheesy, but be self-reflective, ultimately. Take account of yourself each day and be thoughtful about what you are doing in your life, what type of work you're making. Ask yourself, how does this serve the broader society, how does this contribute to an ongoing dialogue? In 100 years, would this work still be interesting to oneself? I don't know.... Be an artist and be serious and be so hard-working that you want to cry. And be happy for the chance to produce something beautiful for this world. Those qualities shine through and speak volumes..."
Well said. I ask myself often: how does my work contribute and serve? I don't want to create in a bubble; my photography is very much for myself and keeps me sane, but I also want to have an impact. Certainly getting into shows and publications is wonderful acknowledgment, but the biggest compliments to me are when I hear from fellow mothers (and fathers as well) that my work speaks to them. Perfect example: on Monday while picking Edie up from ballet I was introduced to a woman who said she'd seen my images because someone showed her my website during a playdate. Turns out it was our mutual friend Stephanie Lange, who makes gorgeous drawings (and has a beautiful, poetic website, see it here) and is married to the talented George Lange, also a friend. I was very touched that Stephie had taken the time to share my images; it's quite a feeling to know that my art is being seen by mothers who can relate to the emotion behind the photographs, and ultimately I think it's this sense of sharing and making manifest the complexity of parenthood in order to relate to a wider audience that is a large part of why I create the work I do.