Being valued as an Artist

MBFitzmahan. The News. 2011. Florence, Italy

I love the sublime feeling of the FLOW that I get when I create through photography.  I love the visits from my Muse.  A day of taking photos, coming home and viewing and editing those photos.  That is an amazing day.  Add to that another day writing to you on my blog.  Writing, telling stories, sharing ideas.  And sharing with you some idea how to take photos and be a photographer. 

As much as I enjoy the process of creating, I must admit that I have a desire to be valued. I’d like for someone to see my work and say, “Your work is fabulous, earth-shattering.” 

I would also like some funds to buy equipment (camera, lens, editing apps, update computer), go on photography trips, and buy supplies. 

I’d like to publish a magazine and a book of my photos and writing.  I’d like a bunch of admiring fans to buy my book and recommend it to others.

I’d like to sell a print of my photographs. I’d like to have a gallery show at the SFMOMA. I’d like to teach a class in photography and get paid for it.  I’d like to lead a photography tour in Japan and Italy.

MBFitzmahan.  Friends and Photos. 2011. Florence, Italy.

How do I get recognized for my creative work?

Here is a list of things I am working on.  This list will expand/contract as I work on it.  Please share with me your experience and your ideas.  How are you going about finding a way to being valued for your creativity?

  • Build a vocabulary referring to myself as a photographer and writer
    Introduce myself as “I’m a photographer and a writer.  I am an editor of a photography magazine.”
  • Acquire the tools I need:
    • Lightroom, a photography editing and organizing app.
    • A professional camera and lens. (Last year I bought a Fujifilm X-T1 and a 35mm f/1.4 lens.  I think these are great.  Of course, I would like a wider lens (18mm or 23 mm) and a longer lens (50mm or 56mm), but I will wait until I can afford it.) I wrote about choosing a camera on my blogpost, Equipment Check.
    • Quality framing equipment and materials.
    • An app for organizing my tasks, ideas.  I just began to use a new free app, Bear.  It is fun to try something new.
    • I’m using a new app, iA Writer for writing my blogs, embedding my photos, and directly publishing the posts onto WordPress.  iA Writer has an aesthetically beautiful interface and is clean and simple.  iA Writer, though not free, is inexpensive at $9.99 on my Mac and $3.99 on my iPad/phone.  With iA Writer, I am learning how to use “markdowns,” a stretch into a simple way to embed links and photos into the writing.  iA Writer was recommended by Eric Kim, who uses iA Writer as a writing tool to help him stay focused while writing a blogpost.
MBFitzmahan. Notes on a Street. 2006. Paris, France
  • Organize my work
    • Move my photos from iPhoto to Lightroom. 
    • Organize my folders and collections in Lightroom.
    • Identify the photos I feel are the best.  In order to …
  • Identify why I take photos.  What is my purpose? Which photos do I like best- yes, great light, pleasing composition. But I’ve known for awhile that technically perfect photos is not my sole goal, maybe not a goal, at all. But…questions to address:1. What is my niche? Do I have a theme?
    2. What are five words that would describe my phoots?
    3. What makes my photos unique?
    4. Who is my audience?
    5. How do I want people to feel when they visit my photos?
    6. What part of myself do I want to amplify? What am I proud of?
    7. What are my photos not?
    8. What is the core purpose of my photos? What do I want my photos to do for myself / others?
  • Get a ‘brand’ for myself
    • Make a business card.
    • Get a logo.
  • Be generous. Be Compassionate. 
    • Support other photographers and artists.
    • Write my photography blog.  Share my ideas.
    • Make ebooks, presets. Give away.

One thought on “Being valued as an Artist

  1. I love this work. Yes, so challenging to feel appreciated as a person, let alone as an artist. Thank you for writing your truth and sharing your process of being seen, heard, valued, and appreciated as a creative.

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