Friday, July 9

What is your work's mission?

As I was listening to Jeff Curotos Camera Position #39 which was about finding "Your Mission & Your Audience" for your work, on my way into work this morning.

As scary as there word "Mission Statement" is to someone like me who has been in Corporate America for the last 15+ years, the idea of discovering who and what you want your work to communicate is a really good idea.

One of the concepts from the podcast is the fact that the first answer is always, "I make photographs for myself".

However, we also plan on showing our photographs to other people. In my case, my family, other railfans and photographers, and the general public.

You can even develop "missions" for different parts of your work.

For example, if you are doing a series documenting old barns vs. portrait work that you do for family and friends.

For me I think my work tends to fall into a couple of groupings:

  1. Black and White:
    1. Railroad/Historical
    2. Landscape/Scenic
  2. Color:
    1. "Railfanning" - what I saw/when documentation
    2. Family
    3. Road-trip/travel
    4. Misc
Each of these groupings might be seen by different groups. My standards for each group can be quite different even. For example, when I'm taking "railfan" shots to document a location compared to when I'm working on making a B&W image of an old depot or locomotive. The railfan shots are trying to convey a "time and place" while the B&W is aiming for more of a "timelessness"

I think the concept of "mission" develops as your work develops. I know that this has happened with me. As I get more serious about my photography, I see my "mission" changing and also the way that I want my work to be seen.

Have a great weekend!

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