Friday, January 13, 2017

Following a Whim - This Cowgirl Photography


It was 2010, I had just gotten a new camera and was on my way to an annual spring branding.  While I could ride like the wind my roping left more than a little to be desired, there was more than enough ground help, so I chose to take pictures instead.  I always thought of myself as more the art critic than the artist, but I had a deep passion for the subject matter so I gave it a go.  My pictures from that day were not like many of the others taken at the same event.  You see personally I like to incorporate pictures of the bits and pieces, you know the kind that spark a memory that your mind has to complete.  I began sharing those pictures on social media.  Over the next few years it turned from me sharing to being asked to share.

Then last year, on a whim I entered a large photo contest on line.  Then forgot about it.  Approximately 6 months later I was informed I was a finalist out of over 14K photographs from all over the world and my photograph would be featured in a coffee table book.  I was thrilled.  That simple placing helped me get over my fear of not being good enough.  I didn't matter if I was or wasn't it just pushed me pass that point in some small way.  

You see my photography has been a hobby, a passion, something I like share for the sheer art and joy of it.  I wasn't sure I was ready to share it with strangers.  Or worse have to put a price on it. Then in December I was laid-off from my "real job".  Prior to that I found I did not like the middle man, having to get the photo printed and out to people.  I was working on my Real Estate website (my new/old paying job), and found www.smugmug.com.  It was the answer to my problems.  The cost was reasonable and it would take me out of the middle having to price, order and deliver my pictures.  I was sold.  What has happened next has taken me by surprise to say the least.  Friends and others started to ask hire me to take pictures. People started viewing my galleries in huge numbers.  I was excited and terrified at the same time.  Then I went on a binge watching campaign on www.youtube.com watching every photography video I could.  Not because I didn't feel I was wasn't good, no because it incited in me a passion to be better.  An excitement I haven't had for years and maybe if I was completely honest with myself decades.  Throwing fear to the side I went in head long.  It has been amazing.    I have been getting great feedback and input.  While at this point it won't pay the bills, it is a creative outlet.

Just for the record,  I love my "new/old real job" (real estate).  After getting laid-off two weeks before Christmas from a job as a painting estimator, real estate has been refreshing.  It was my career for well over 15 years, however the housing crash and a divorce forced me to explore other avenues.  It has been photography that has sparked a deep seeded passion.  So, here goes nothing.  I am moving forward.  Following a whim.  It could go nowhere, it could go somewhere, doesn't matter either way it makes me happy.  That is the point of life isn't it, finding things that make you happy.