I think it’s always on a photographers mind that being “what’s popular” when it comes to shooting images. I have never let it totally influence my decision on what I shoot I know in my heart I have to surround myself with what inspires me the most, but I seem to think about it more than in the past. Case in point, I was contacted by the Kansas Commerce Division late last fall and asked if I would be interested in some assignment work. Always looking for new income opportunities (what photographer isn’t) I of coursed said sure! A list followed with the subjects that they would be in need of. They included things such as; Cultural Events, Civil War Characters – Forts and Events, Unique Dining, Festivals Urban and Rural, Camping, Wineries, BBQ Competitions, Hunting – Fishing – Harvest, Nature and Wildlife just to name a few. As I looked over the list I realized this didn’t quite fit my “normal” subjects of strictly nature and landscapes. Hmm, should this discourage me? Or should I put out my best effort to capture such subjects in the fashion and style that I approach my normal subjects. A unique challenge to say the least. The only part that seemed somewhat intimidating was most of if not all these subjects would include people, oh no not people! I do say that in jest, for most of these subjects I would find fascinating to photograph and my travels do take me to most of the areas such things exist.
The winter months did not do well in providing opportunities for things like this but now spring is upon us and activities are picking up. Time to make me a working list and do some planning, doing assignment work comes with a something called a deadline, not real sure how that will play out deadlines don’t even sound fun. It’s a different way to approach a part of my work but I have said many times challenges are a good thing, so in between trips to the prairies and flint hills will be a few side roads taking me to other areas of nature and small town life in Kansas starting this week and coming weekend with the Prairie Fire Festival, how could something that has fire and festival in it’s name not be fun! Along with my updates on images and travels that are a mainstay here on the blog I will see what I can do to bring some of my newest subjects online to share as well.
On a somewhat similar note on what’s popular one of the items at least in these parts with folk who enjoy photography are barns, boy people love barns, old barns to be specific. They are also a subject I look out for whenever out and about. Oh there are many around but one thing that a person must do that I have yet to is stop and talk to land owners because most of the good ones aren’t setting next to the road, they always seem off in the distance setting on a rural plot of land that has probably been in the family for generations. I didn’t see barns on the list from the Commerce Division, hmm bummer. Guess extra effort will need to be put out with this subject as well. Remember, challenges are a good thing. I think I’ve heard that before.
And a beautiful barn it is. A little stretching never hurt anyone and with the right attitude, this opportunity can be very good for you. Check to see what the requirements of using photographs of people in publications are, but otherwise, have fun with it.
Thanks Ken, yeah shooting people with my canon will be somewhat different!
Sounds like a bit of stretching going on in your life. So many of us photographers do not want to step out of comforts zones. Have fun with the assignments and looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Thanks Monte, I thinks it should be a positive thing to not get to stuck in ones comfort zone. Photography is an ever growing personal experience so some growing I must do.
Good luck Brad, certainly having that diversity can lead to getting into different markets. Something I have never pursued myself very much. But I do find myself interested in architecture, which is certainly a diversion from my normal focus on nature.
I think it would be interesting to draw parallels in the challenges you face between two entirely different subjects. I think the guiding principles in photography would be much the same.
Thanks for your comment Mark, this will be a interesting challenge for sure, not one that I have entirely made my mind up on as a long term goal. I’ve learned over the years opportunities have came with endeavors that I have questioned, this does fall into that category.