I used to avoid saying “photography is my passion” at all costs. It sounds gagworthy. Like I never do anything else. Also, why should you ever care what makes me happy? Look at my portfolio and if you like it, hire me, right?
I think what people are trying to get across when they say photography is my passion is that there’s something more to it that creating images that their clients are happy enough to pay for. Those photographers are saying “I’m doing this for me…which is more effort than I’d put into it if I were just doing it for your money.”
It hit me last night while at my second job. I photograph people because I can’t STAND all the bad photography out there, and some of the good. I look at people wandering around out in the world…who would never be potential clients and I think…I could take a better photograph of them than they have likely ever seen in the mirror. I want people to see themselves and think the best possible thing that an outsider can think.
We have some fundamental flaws as people, one is a complete inability to describe ourselves accurately. We have NO IDEA what we look like to the world. We also (most of us) have this crazy accurate ability to criticize other people. Seriously, I'm not proud of it, but I could find a way to make fun of anyone. If I can do that, then everyone out there can make fun of me.
I think we make decisions about how to carry themselves in the world, what to wear, when to speak, when to really put ourselves out there, way too often based on what the imaginary critical people in our heads would say about us. We close up and shut up.
We also see the best in other people sometimes, and other people see the best in us…sometimes things that we could never see in ourselves.
THAT is what photography is about for me. THAT is the “passion” that goes way beyond the job for me. What if I could show you the amazingness that outsiders see, but that you can't see in yourself. What if you could gain a better sense of yourself from my photographs, you could understand that the world sees you THIS way too.
That is the “passion” beyond the job for me. Art? Sure. I love making beautiful images with amazing color and composition, but more so, I want to show off the inner (and outer) magic that is my subject.
I’m not obsessed with photography. It’s not my “passion” in that all my time and energy is spent on it. My undergrad degree is in Sociology with a minor in Music. The thing that I want to explore most in life is the intersection of people and art. I want to make art to make people matter. Right now I’m expressing that with photographs. It’s what’s beyond the job for me, and it’s my passion.