The importance of personal projects

I’m 32 and I still cannot call myself an artist. I am not sure why, but it may be because:

a) I have been brainwashed by society into thinking that if I do have not a degree in arts, then I am not an artist;

b) my job is not in arts;

c) I have no idea what art is.

For now, I’ll leave a) and c) for other posts. In today’s post, I’ll focus on b), and I’ll try to explain why I think it is important for me to separate my job from my art (or whatever it is I do with photography).

Sometimes I think that if I was working on photography full-time and my income was entirely coming from it, I would not enjoy it. Even though I would like to get more recognition for it (whether it is monetary or not), I don’t do it for the money and I intend to keep it that way. Needless to say that if the money comes in through photography, great, it’s very welcome! My bare minimum being: I hope that my photography - as a hobby - pays for, at least, whatever I spend on it. That’s my goal. The surplus of that is just a bonus.

Having said that, a hobby does need work as well, and it is very easy to get distracted away from it if you do not financially depend on it. Since I don’t, I struggle to get inspired to photograph after a full day of work, or during the weekends when all I want is to be with my family… And here is where personal work comes in.

So far, all of the photographs you have seen on my website stemmed from personal work - ALL OF THEM! They stem from my travels, my day-to-day life with my family, and occasional headshots of friends. That is why they are so important for me, because it’s with these personal projects that I learn.

Every time I use photograph for a personal project, I get to experiment with a camera I am not that comfortable with, or with a film stock I have never used, or a new light setting I never got to enjoy photographing.

I hope you get an idea of why you see so many of my personal projects. I also use both Instagram and this blog to document my learning process, so that also explains a little why you see them =)

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