Friday, April 24, 2015

Passion, or Addiction?

I'm starting a new thing.
Or continuing an old thing.
Hard to say.

I've been taking photographs since I was around 7 years old.
I was fortunate in that my elementary school from 2nd-6th grade had a darkroom, and students had free access to it.
I remember spending many hours in there, probably soaking and breathing in nasty chemicals, but I digress.

I didn't do a lot of photography from the ages of around 13-18, but when I was 19, I was given a decent SLR camera, and with that, became interested again.
The problem was that film, and developing and printing the film, were fairly expensive, at least for a young couple trying to live on one minimum wage income.
So I'd splurge when I could, and then have times when I simply couldn't afford to take many pictures.

In order to get good at it, you have to take a lot of pictures.

The invention of the digital camera, especially the digital SLR camera, was the greatest gift ever to photographers.
Now, "film" does not exist, and there is no developing cost at all. Printing still costs- but you don't even have to do that, to see the pictures.
Best of all, there is no time delay. You can see your images immediately, and be able to change settings, change position, or whatever you want, right then. What an amazing learning opportunity!

Since getting a digital SLR camera a few years ago, I have taken a lot of pictures.
And, in so doing, I have gotten better.

Recently, several people have suggested to me that I should look into selling photos.
I resisted, for a variety of reasons. One being that I can't afford to print and frame anything, and one being that adding money, or trying to please a customer, into the mix of ANYTHING runs the risk of changing it.

I found a way to offer photos for sale where I don't have to DO any of the printing, framing, packaging, or shipping. That's kind of cool. It makes it possible for me to do.

So I did.
I joined a commercial site that provides this service.

I also made a facebook page for my photography. Before this week, I had posted photos on my personal page, but not had a dedicated photography page.

The first thing that happened is that a lot of people liked my new page!

The next thing is that I'm in the middle of a steep learning curve, trying to figure out how to manage all this.
It is causing me to devote a fair chunk of time to it, and that time has to be squeaked out of my already busy life.
I've been taking pictures, processing them, sorting through old ones, talking to people about ideas for marketing, reaching out to people I know, and otherwise getting used to the idea of actually presenting myself in public as an artist.

This is a pattern for me.

I become interested in something, and dive in, head first.
It's not an obsession, exactly.

Maybe it is.  :-)

It isn't just me who does this.
It's a typical pattern for MANY people, when they start something new.

That rush of a steep learning curve is exciting, and interesting, and compelling, and can be where a lot of learning happens. Along with it comes a mental state that is extremely receptive to new information.

I think a lot of new unschooling parents get confused by this.

Sometimes, they think ALL learning happens this way, with a sudden, deep interest in something, and with a person wanting all available information and related activities. They are disappointed when their child doesn't seem to "find his passion." I have seen people express this concern, about not having found their passion,  about a FIVE YEAR OLD. I have also seen parents feel like they have to treat every interest this way, and run themselves ragged procuring all available related resources, only to have the child "lose interest."

Sometimes, it's the opposite extreme. They see someone who is fascinated by something, who DOES want to eat, sleep and breathe it, who may stop doing things they were previously interested in, and they are afraid it is some sort of addiction.

Which concern a parent has depends largely on their personal opinion of whatever-it-is.
If they approve of it (or think others would), it is typically perceived as a passion.
If they disapprove (or think others would), it is often seen as an addiction.

I think it would help a lot of people to be able to step back, and just see it as what it is: an interest, and learning about it. No more, no less. Great fun, but not the only model.

And now…
I'll go back to sorting some photos.
This also explains why I haven't posted for the past few days. :-)

If I could have any superpower, it might be not to need sleep. So much to do, so little time!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Thank you for your article. As my kids are getting older, I have re-started with my photography also. I used to print in the chemical dark room. You mentioned:

    "I found a way to offer photos for sale where I don't have to DO any of the printing, framing, packaging, or shipping. That's kind of cool. It makes it possible for me to do.
    So I did.
    I joined a commercial site that provides this service."

    Would you please share what service? I am looking at: for printing but then I need to wait for it to get back to me so that I can ship it out again.

    Thank you!