The change I am talking about has been a process that has been in the pipes for a while now. It is now officially put in motion.
The fact is, being a "commercial and editorial" photographer kind of got me stuck in a rut. I was super selective with the type of work I wanted to shoot and when I had ideas to shoot some personal work, it was always to please and attract potential clients I wanted to work with. In the end, I rarely shared the images as I wasn't satisfied with them.
The first trigger in this change is purely technical and is the change of gear I talked about in my gear for sale post. I was feeling weighed down (figuratively and literally) by all the big fancy gear I owned. In addition, I want to slow down in my picture making process so I don't really need the super lightning-fast autofocus and 10+ frames per second my Nikon cameras offered. Feeling comforted by seeing a few photographers I follow, and many others as well, successfully switch from DSLRs to mirrorless cameras, I took the jump myself and I am now the proud owner of a Fujifilm X-Pro1. I love it already. Small, light and cool retro style!
Second, I've been attending a weekly night class for a month now at Passadena Art Center. The class is called "Crafting a meaning full career" and this is its description:
An invaluable class for mid-career professionals eager to take their careers to the next level! Change naturally occurs as careers evolve. Sometimes change is forced upon us; sometimes we have to make it happen ourselves. […] Tony Luna has created this engaging class for mid-career professionals who want to revitalize their career perspectives. He has been a creative consultant, artist representative and producer for 35 years. […] Students have used this information to rediscover their passion, embrace risk, create a new artistic voice and take control of their creative destiny.
Sounds cool, right?! It is! The talks with the group are motivating and empowering and it feels great being surrounded by like-minded people in a similar situation.
But my true "A-HA" moment was a few weeks ago when over the course of a weekend, Anka and I went to both LA ART and PHOTO LA. Seeing the photos exhibited in both these events sparked something in me. Something I had never felt before and never thought I would feel. I want to shoot some fine art. I want to start shooting for myself, be more personal in my work, in the work I put out there.
So, as a result of all this personal introspection and after putting much thought into it, I am now a fine art photographer. I am available for hire if someone is interested in my vision but I will no longer promote myself as a commercial and editorial photographer. As of today, I want my work to please me before it pleases others.
So here I am, facing this new challenge and adventure. It terrifies me but I am super excited and inspired as well. I know, deep down in my heart, this is the right choice for me.
Wish me luck!