I have spent a lot of time purging things lately and one being my enormous collection of analog and digital images. For the most part, it became obvious that the commercial work that I had done for the money years ago, looked dated and wasn’t worth keeping. However, the images
that I shot for personal projects were timeless even though they had been shot decades ago.
I have grown weary in our youth obsessed culture that as an older creative female many times I am being dismissed – I have become invisible. I don’t say this to complain and I’m certainly not the first one to echo these sentiments, but I found that it was beginning to undermine my self-worth. As I looked through some work that I hadn’t seen in many years
I realized that I am reacting to people who are judgmental and ageist. There are two things that I can’t change – my height and my age – so I thought that it does me no good to care about others who define me and my value by my age. Rather than feel bad about the longevity of my career, I choose to tell myself that I must be doing something right to be in such a competitive business like photography all these years. The answer is that I love to create photographs and now videos – it’s something that I HAVE to do. It keeps me alive.
Regardless of where you are in your career, take the time to shoot what you care about. It’s the most important thing you can do, not only for your career but for your self-esteem.
- Assuming it’s an idea you are passionate about and not doing it to second guess the market – it will be a reminder of who you were then. It’s also great to put new eyes on it a second time around.
- When you’re paying for it yourself, you’ll work harder. Failure is not an option because there is no failure.
- There are no restrictions or mandates – the world is your oyster. If you dream it, you can probably make it happen.
- Working on a personal project is great for making new contacts. You learn to be tenacious in selling your idea in order to gain access to someone or a place. It’s much harder to sell yourself and an idea when you don’t have a letter of assignment from a major magazine.
- Most likely these will be the images that won’t get old even as you do.