Nor does anybody care about your one-act play, your Facebook page or your new sesame chicken joint at Canal and Tchoupitoulas. It isn’t that people are mean or cruel.They’re just busy. When you understand that nobody wants to read your shit, your mind becomes powerfully concentrated.
Think about that. All the hard work we put into creative projects, or blog entries, or advertising campaigns – nobody really cares. They have better things to do.
Until they do start to care. But that’s only a fraction.
I try to bring this viewpoint to my job. We fret over the little things, and we polish the text to a buffed shine. Luckily, Ann Arbor (a true college town) is more literate than most cities. Still, at the root, nobody cares.
So give them a reason to.
Or: set your expectations accordingly. If no one cares what you do, doesn’t that give you some freedom to do what you want to do?
There’s something noble about being the “ornery artist.” The one who switches it up when he or she shouldn’t. The one who you can’t pin down. The one who avoids fame and publicity.
As I walked around the Ann Arbor Art Fair on Thursday, especially looking at the photography booths, I couldn’t help but notice how similar they all were: landscapes, sunsets, flowers, bodies of water, animals, HDR (blah!).
Art fair artists are there to sell things, I get it. It’s hard to be ornery and sell in mass quantities.
Every year, during the hottest week of the summer, Ann Arbor puts on a giant art fair, shutting down streets downtown and welcoming thousands of people over four days.
I’ve been to Art Fair several times, but this is my first time working on campus during the event. As the artists set up their booths, I walked around town grabbing some of the behind-the-scenes shots.
It’s fun, seeing the event before the event starts. A lot of the art was already on display, but many artists didn’t have their tent up yet, and their wares were sprawled out on the University of Michigan lawn, waiting for hanging.
There were these weird juxtapositions, like fake cactus and palm trees baking in the Midwestern sun, or giant metal sculptures just hanging out on University Ave. And hot. Everything was hot.
Should be a fun couple of days, trying to get into work.
For a few minutes yesterday, though, the setup gave me a great chance to wander around and see what I could see.
A suggestion: If you find an artist you like at one of these art fairs, a good way to support them is to buy a small print or notecard, especially if you can’t afford one of their bigger prints. I found one from photographer Amber Tyrrell that I really liked, so I bought a notecard from her. Three bucks and some change is an easy vote of confidence.
Any little bit of support helps the artists, helps the arts economy, and makes the whole humid thing seem worth it.
With an impending sale of Yahoo!, there’s a lot of hand-wringing about what’s going to happen to Flickr.
I’m worried about Flickr, too, for the same reasons Jim Nix is worried – namely, that if someone buys Flickr and messes it up, where can we photographers go? Especially those of us that have dumped most (in my case) or all (in other photographers’ cases) of our photos onto the site.
I, like Nix, enjoy Flickr’s organization tools, the Groups, the social aspects, and the ease of use. Flickr can be used in all kind of ways, whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, and a lot of us pay the annual fee to keep the premium features. To me, it’s always been worth the $25 a year.
In recent years, Flickr has tried to Instagram itself by becoming more mobile and more in-the-moment. But what if it just stuck to being a photography enthusiast’s site?
“Growth” and “scaling” make you money, over time, but don’t memberships and providing value make money too?
I’d pay $5 more every year to make Flickr stay healthy, stick to what it does best, and listen to its customers. It’s an important tool in my photography tool belt.
I can’t worry too much, because I don’t have any control over who buys Flickr and what happens to it in the long haul. But I do have a wish list, and at the top of that is that Flickr sticks around and keeps chugging along, even if it’s not in the Who’s Who of social media/photography platforms.
After starting my new job in March, I did what I always do: got out and explored.
I’ve been to Ann Arbor, Michigan, many times, and done a lot of shooting here. Now that it’s my jobby-job town, there are a lot more opportunities to get out and see the city. Lunch hours, in between meetings, after work – all good excuses to get out and make photos.
This is, at its most basic, the best reason to make photography a hobby. You get to really learn about and know a place through the viewfinder.
A new place also provides that little spark of freshness you might need to practice your craft.
Do your everyday surroundings get stale? Go somewhere new, and – bam – instant inspiration.