Identity Crisis

In 35mm, Film by Ivan5 Comments

Am I an artist?

This is the question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. When reading other photographers’ blogs and listening to podcasts, for example. The authors are all acclaimed photographers whose work is recognized and praised and whose passion for photography helps them earn a living this way or another. I look at their work and see the vision, the emotion and the hard work put behind it. I see that they really thought everything through before pushing the button, and because of all that, they have the full right to call themselves artists. And I?

Am I an artist?

I’m asking this while revamping my website to look more like a portfolio. I know if I were to do this properly I should have looked through all my pictures first, choosing the best of the best and being my own cruelest curator. In my defense, I want to say that I’ve done some of that but haven’t boiled it down to the creme de la creme. Being your own critic and curator is hard and takes time to learn, which I never did and that’s why my portfolio looks like a mess.

Am I an artist?

Looking back at all the time I’ve been shooting photos, I ask myself this. Since day 1 of my photography adventure, I saw myself as more of a Gary Winogrand type of street photographer, if you excuse me for such a comparison. As I learned later he used to roam the streets shooting almost everything and oftentimes not caring about composition or whatever photography rule can apply. “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed”, it’s the quote usually ascribed to him. So I tried to do exactly that, shooting everything of interest without any projects or assignments, or any agenda whatsoever. But as I started sharing my photos more and the more I was involved in watching others’ work, the clearer I saw the need to reevaluate my principles. What is my message and should there be one? What is my style and vision, and how do I develop them? Am I just a person who takes pictures of what’s in front of him or…

Am I an artist?

 

The answer’s still eluding me.

Comments

  1. Its one of those questions we must ask ourselves once a while Ivan. Do i really have a signature style, a certain vision, do my images evoke emotions or ask questions? More importantly i think, we must ask – do i like my own work and if it matters to ME? In the end of the day it only has to matter to YOU so it all depends what standards you set yourself.
    Good luck with your new website!

    1. Author

      Thank you, Yuri! I agreed with you 100% and all these questions are for me only and nobody else. Maybe I overthink things or maybe it’s a part of my progress as a photographer, but I’ve never thought about my standards seriously.

    1. Author

      Hey, what a coincidence)) I guess many people ask that. After some pondering I’ve decided to leave it as it is now and simply enjoy taking pictures and try to stay true to what I like in my “work”. We’ll see what will develop from this.

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