Do something you love doing

Joseph Koudelka

We hear this all the time and it is the reason many of us get into commercial photography, it is a way to earn a living and do something we love. Rarely does an assistant pass through here saying they are in it for the money, which to be sure, can be good.  But as we all know, it can be bad too. 

Do you shoot what you love?  
Do you pander too much to your market? 
Do you enjoy being a photographer? 
Where is the middle ground?  

Here is a great quote from a 1987 interview with Joseph Koudelka, via A Photo Student.  Joseph is one of the old masters of photography, and he does what he loves.

Joseph Koudelka : I don’t know what’s important to the people who look at my photos. What’s important to me is to make them. I work all the time, but there are only a few of my photos that I find really good. I am not even sure that I am really a good photographer. I think that anyone working as I do could do the same. But my purpose is not to prove my talent. I photograph almost every day, except when it’s too cold for traveling the way I do – as in this time of winter. Sometimes my photos are OK, other times they are not, but I think that eventually something will come out of my work. I don’t worry about it. I also take photos of my own life, such as those at the beginning of the small paperback book: of my feet, of my watch. When I am tired I lie down, and if I feel like photographing and there is nobody around me, I photograph my own feet. They are not great photos, some people dislike them. For a similar reason, I always photograph the places where I sleep, and the interiors where I spend some time. It’s a rule that I have given to myself, because these are things that one forgets. Maybe one day I’ll make a book with them, nothing but those little photos. It may upset some people who know me only as the photographer of gypsies, and who don’t want to see me any other way. But I don’t care about what people think, I don’t try to change people. Nor to change the world.

ALSO of note, via A Photo Editor - Allegra Wilde's workshop: Deconstructing Your Portfolio.  As she puts it, "This is not simply a question of do what you love..."
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