A friend of mine recently expressed to me that she would like to start a business, but didn’t know what. Then she goes on,
"If you were in my position, that’s no big problem for you. You know what you’re good at and what you love. You can get an income from your photography easily. But not me, I don’t really know what I love."
Then I told her, “Wrong. Everybody think that I have a natural talent in art and photography, and that I love it so much everyday. It’s wrong because there’s a bumpy road along the way. There are even days when I think I should give up photography completely.”
Even James Nachtwey, my hero in documentary photography, sure to have struggled along the way in his career. He came to Sydney and I met him in May 2013.
And I was honest to my friend. Every artists will struggle with their craft, and I have seen a lot of photographer friends of mine who have diverted their creativity into music, painting, writing, or perhaps nothing related to arts. And this is something you have to know before even thinking about comparing yourself to other people. Usually, there’s nothing to be compared to (and it usually lead to unnecessary disappointment).
Have you ever had a crush on a girl (or a guy) and thinking she’s the perfect persona, although you don’t really know her all that well? I have. And I also found out that, no matter how ‘perfect’ her life may be, I actually don’t know the other aspects of her life — at the end of the day, she’s probably just another girl who’s worried about controlling her diet, or wondering whether to get a new purse or shoes in her next pay day… The usual worries as a perfectly normal human being. Ergo, we heard writers and poets who say, “…love the imperfect person perfectly.”
I guess before we were to say anything about others’ work, we have to know deeper than what’s at the surface. If a photographer exhibit ten photographs, it doesn’t mean s/he took only ten photographs (all of which are hanged on gallery wall). Who knows if s/he has taken 1,000 or 20,000 photographs before coming down to the best ten? You will only know if you know the artist deeper through interview or a direct Q&A.