Saturday, October 13, 2007

In the eye of the storm

I have pursued photography for eight years now, confounding some people that I have come this far, surprising others that I am still struggling to find work. These eight years have been full of discoveries and firsts. I have slowly overcome my own misgivings about my own photography by looking at the different aspects of my practise and working on them. There is still a lot that I want to do in photography, but there is a part of me that is confident that I can produce good photographs. Good enough to be paid for my services. I have worked on the photography as well as the business. I am still working on my photography and promoting my company, but things are still almost silent. At this point, I may be in the eye of a storm, or I may be in a country where there is not a market for the type of photography I practise. The trend in photography in Singapore tends to be advertising and fashion photography. These types of photography are not that interesting to me. I like to take portraits and dance photographs.

The point of this all is that I may be good at what I do, but it may be that other people are really just not interested. Like classical music nowadays and its dwindling audience. It is not that these musicians are not good, it is just that the masses prefer popular music.

I think that by the end of next year, I will have to asses the situation and see if my present working model works or if I have to change it. It has been about a year since I restarted work as a corporate portrait photographer. Maybe it just takes more time.

I realise, while talking to friends, that no one owes me a living or with so many photographer out there, there is no reason why I am more special or better than anyone out there. It is up to me to find the meaning in my work and to convince an audience of the worth of what I do. In other words, if I want anything done, I have to do it myself. At least in initiating projects and work. While doing a project it is possible to get people to assist and do parts of the work, but I have to orchestrate the process. Once I have a body or work, I have to present and market the work. Everyone is looking for attention to their own work, and the competition is fierce. I feel this of all walks of life in this modern age, not just photography.

Once again I will say, that the path I have chosen has challenges, but so does every other path. I continue on this path because I have no interests in other paths. And even if my current model does not work, I am not giving up photography. I will simply find another way to continue being a photographer. Better to live a life struggling for a cause, than drifting aimlessly in relative comfort.

10 comments:

Jeff L. said...

I think tis time for u to move on and create opportunities for urself. cant be sitting duck all the time. things dun just frop from the sky. if it doesn't work for u here, then seek elsewhere. I did.

Heng said...

I am moving. Always have been and always will. But how I continue to move may have to change.

yh said...

Well said, boss. Wouldn't you agree that nothing was born without strife?

Heng said...

Well, there are exceptions to the rule. But any body of work that can become a legacy will have strife. I do not know any successful person who has not sweated blood and tears for their work and who have not in some way hit walls which they have to back down from.

Jeff L. said...

interesting that u mentioned "how". will keep that in mind. thks :)

pfong said...

Strugling within a community of fellow travellers, might ease the journey. I sometimes feel I'm really cut off from the wider group. I really Must make more effort to connect.

Heng said...

Well Paul. Only if you have a group of travellers going in the same direction as you. But yes, it is nice having like minded people to talk to. In many cases I find it easier to talk to people I meet overseas than those in Singapore. I guess this is one of the things that I consider when I think about working in Singapore.

laissezfaire said...

you are an inspiration to people like me who also prefer to search and trod unbeaten paths rather than cruise in comfort knowing where I will end up. Keep going!!

Jas L said...

The conflict between personal passion and societal demands is always a hard war to win. But do stay true to your beliefs, for they will define who you are and the work you create. Your work has been inspirational to me ever since being introduced to them. Despite being in the Lion City, I'm sure there are definitely avenues to provide your services beyond.

pj said...

i have come across yr work many times over the last few years. i find them beautiful. and even though i hv no technical expertise, i can see the development in your work over time. i think you definitely should not give up, but like you say, hv to keep evolving into something new. would love to see more of your photos.