….so as a follow up, what does it mean this ….”Personal Work”…? Ok ok, isn’t everything personal work. I mean I do things and take it personal, so what’s the difference, personally I’d like to know. Interesting and don’t take this too personal but maybe a little personal.
Bob Dylan wrote a song named, “Ya Gotta Serve Somebody”. What this means to photography is exactly what it sounds like. When a client calls you about a gig, ya get excited and know that your gonna make money and your cameras etc are now tools. Hate to tell ya this but you are now a tool also. Perhaps a past client or friend of a client etc recommended yo to the new client. Nice. Confidence is high. We got this and the Pro attitude kicks in. This is all good but you must remember the reason for you getting the job, the reals reason.
…..the reason is because you are the total package. You know your craft, have good communication abilities with people, turn out a good produce and know how to make all satisfied. There’s other things involved but this is the crux of it. So you are focused on your intent, presence and objective to make a great job and your client happy. Wait, wait, wait….something is too easy, something could be amiss. Well, your right, the inverse square law says less is more and more is less. There’s another law that gets to play and here in Philly it’s called Murphy’s Law. See this law states that if something could go wrong, it will.
C’mon, what can go wrong when your at the top of your game? Mother Light has never shed her Grace upon a shooter that never had problems at one time or another on a shoot. It’s true I tellya. There’s a bird flying around, we don’t always see it but it’s there. It’s called the Blue Bird of happiness. When this bird flies over you and ummm, well…drops a poop bomb on you, your supposed to be blessed and all things in your existence for 3.5 seconds are perfect. Well, it’s true too but at second 4, things go back to normal and ya have bird poop on your head. Not so happy any more.
So there’s the basic idea of working for bucks. You will serve others then yourself. You get paid and that’s the reward. What about working for yourself and there may be some other reward? The heart and soul of your photographic existence relies on your INTENT. You work to satisfy the client inside you. Of course it’s nice to have people like your work but at this point, that can not be the motive for your work. There is a life force that insist on living inside us. We dare not ignore this force. For most, we can’t anyway. This force is the very essence of our heart and soul. It is the only client wee serve for our work. “It is not the ego that drives us. The ego is a byproduct of the essence of the force of our creativity.” When we finally recognize this force, hopefully we can then see our work as the preservation of our existence.
So, it seems to me and I’m writing this, that there are to clients if you may, that we will serve. The business client that gives us the money to survive. The personal work client that gives us the will to breathe.
How do we keep the 2 in check? That’s the trick. I think that we need to observe and manage our intent. Kinda like multiple personalities. One is the money client and the other is the personal client. There are missions and ways to perform the missions that are similar. This is where we get lost. It’s extremely important to observe your stance on both clients. Know which is which and also know how to feed each. There are to driving forces and we must see that and accept it. The first is the money client and we focus on that and get work, make money, make clients happy and inside us hopefully there lives a little shooter that says, we made it, we can pay the bills, feed the kids etc.
Then there is the second client that is your personal work and it screams out in horror. What about me, don’t forget me. I’m dying. See, this is why you need a dual personality. You need not give up either, just embrace it with all in the moment and perform as focused as possible. Shed the guilt of being one or the other.
Wait a minute dude. What if I’m a carpenter or exec in a business. Hey, maybe I make burgers at McDonald’s. Yo, I am a CEO of a telemarketing firm …and I am a Medical Research Doctor. The point is that you can be anything you want or need to be. Ya know how ya get in the here and now and the the moment when you are shooting? Well, that focus must be in everything you do in life. You absolutely must not resent your work for money, just embrace the beauty of it as it provides the path that is clear for your personal work.
There was a really famous circus and the new owner was walking around meeting all the people that worked for him. He came across the elephant tent and there was a guy shoveling elephant shit and stacking it in a pile. The owner started talking to the man and they had a lengthy chat about politics, medicine, finances etc. Finally the owner asked….”You are so intelligent, why do you shovel elephant shit, you could work anyplace?” “The man stopped shoveling and looked the owner in the face and said….”What and give up show business?”
Life is full of many wondrous things, We all get to chose and observe some of them. The ones who have a focused intent breathe and are excited to do so because they are in the here and now even shoveling shit. The ones that aren’t in the here and now, well… they become lawyers and politicians.
We are gifted with the Grace of Mother Light. This blessing enriches our soul and we need to be aware that we are not alone but we serve ourselves but not only ourselves. We need to share our thoughts, our images and our lives.
If you don’t agree with me, kindly move on and if you do…pass the shovel.