Monday, November 17, 2008


Autumn Carpet 2008, Digital Photograph, (c) 2008 Jeane Vogel Photography

Lots of serious amateur photographers tell me they would NEVER take pictures for a living because they love photography so much that they don't want to turn it into a job -- into a chore. They pity me for my labors.

I ask: do you love your day job as much as photography? No! They love photography more. It's more gratifying and satisfying. 

I know what they are trying to say: it's a hobby, it's fun, it's a diversion. They don't want to push beyond the fun.

Ok. Although I can't imagine doing work I don't adore, they are right. It is work! Whether I'm shooting a corporate headquarters or a family portrait, it's work. When I'm painting, it's work. Eking out a living as a working photographer and studio artist is a challenge, no doubt. And worth every minute.

The serious amateurs are right about one thing, though: generally I don't shoot for fun. The shooting has a purpose. Whether for art or commerce, it's work! I don't make the time for the fun. Unless I'm pushed.

This weekend I shot for fun. Dear friends Hildy and Dimitri were swinging through town on their three-month tour of the US giving workshops and consultations about how to revive our communities and fix the world. You HAVE to read about them and learn about their amazing work with nonprofits. Both are serious amateur photographers and wanted to get out into the city and shoot.

The day was cold and gray but, hey! Let's go! The first stop was Tower Grove Park in St. Louis, a mid-1800s Victorian park that is too beautiful to describe. The trees were past peak, but I looked down and focused on this green leaf among the red and yellow. Until I processed it, I didn't even SEE the purple one! I didn't enhance this image (except for the painted frame). This is what was there.

I would never have seen it unless I had been pushed.

No comments: