August 18th, 2016 … Dealing With Rejection & Acceptance … Fuji X100T
To start, I am not a know – it-all. If anything, I am a know – it- partly – all. One of the things I know is how to accept myself even at times of punishing adversity. It’s very easy to cave in and do all that others expect of you or worse, what you think others expect of you. That is being punished and also, punishing yourself. It’s like you show some photos to some people and they look and comment like, “Your a master, the maestro, lovely, beautiful, so talented” and you eat that shit up until you get home and sit and think. Geeze, it’s nice people like my work, I just wish that I liked that selection better then my favorites. You think, people like my stuff and that’s great. Unfortunately, maybe they are greasing you up, or patronizing you or maybe they really like the work.
So to me, it looks like that way of thinking is the way to punishment from others and yourself. The question on hand is, who do you trust and who do you allow to guide you.? See, it’s easy to have others call the shots for you and we all do that at times. If there are issues, the hell with it, blame the people that guided you. Certainly easier then to accept the blame for yourself. Let them be the scapegoat for the failure of love you need and want for your work.
The recognition that we seek, doesn’t come from others, it’s born inside us. I’m not saying it’s not nice or important to have recognition. I’m saying that if you allow that to guide you and not your heart, your doomed to failure and you let failure be the benchmark for your photos of the future. This happens to many and they can’t see that they have a problem because the ones they seek help from are the ones that they allow to perpetuate the problem. This may not be an intentional act but the effect is the same.
I remember years ago, around 1979, that I hadn’t shown any work to anyone in a bout a year. I was nervous because I was busting my butt to get a body of work together. I was already Streetshooter at this time. My friend Paul was coming down and I was excited cause he was also a photographer. He was and is an excellent shooter but he has a gift for seeing other shooters photos and getting it right away. When he arrived, we sat back and I showed him a box of prints. I had maybe 80 6×9 photos on 8×10 paper. Well, I knew the ones that reall meant something to me. Paul looked at the photos and he would say… Don, this is great. I felt relieved especially if it was one of my chosen.
Then, then when everything was going well… Paul would say, tilting his head back slight;y….”Ya know….” I knew that was the kiss of death. I mean, I’m selling my figgin cameras…..well, I didn’t and really, this is what I needed at the time. After we did the “Edit”, I would have a box of prints that was the selection we did together.
After a period of time, Paul would head home and I would lay out the photos as I saw groups, or things like that. I can not tell you the value of this experience. We did the countless times thru the years, editing each others work. It gave me confidence and a sense of visual direction. In time I learned how to relate to my work and how to defend myself against negative energy.
See, negative energy isn’t about acceptance of the work, it’s about a bad critique, or getting hammered by someone, or feeling bad because you think your work isn’t up to par. This is all common and we all suffer from it but there is a way to deal with this and my next post will be about that.
Be blessed my friends and remember, … sorry I forgot what I was supposed to remember……….