It paigns me to do this...and in turn subject you to such a dastardly opening sentence of this post, but I will refer to a Facebook post that was gifted to me yesterday by a good friend of mine. I say gifted because of the way it illuminated my day after it was read and how it made me think about the course of madness I've taken up to this point. So, really, this shiteating opening paragraph is a direct precipitate of one utterly heart warming share of words left on the fictionary wall of my Facebook. They left me feeling especially fuzzy inside...which is unlikely. But here we are about to talk(briefly) on why it's so important that we as photo makers, camera jockeys, picturateers, photographists, and essentially the photographic homeless come together as our own support structure. Yeah, it's that kind of post today...because I'm a sensitive bastard after all.
I've realized over the last couple of years how wonderfully the internet compliments the visual craft which we find ourselves so completely in love with; the web brings our work to the minds of masses like never before. And over the same couple of years I've learned about the hairy unwaxed underbelly of that same internet that goes unnoticed by so many who get caught up in how great it feels to get "likes" and "shares" which are ultimately hollow nods to the reasons each one of us does what we do. We are brought together through random networkings with like-minded folk who share common passions and I have met so many incredibly gifted photographers in exactly this way. But every now and then something comes along, like the post left on my Facebook this morning, that shakes the dust off our humbleness. It's an understanding that we don't know just how far we reach others with our actions. This ignorance leads to neglect and in the end we cheat ourselves out of the joyful catharsis which I reached this very evening. The idea that my picture works and whatever the hell else I do as a "serious" photographer/author guides the path of others gives me a completely alien sensation of accomplishment. Truly. It's something that satisfies what I figure is a cyclic Zen worthy of making Lao Tzu grin like a tweaked out vegan at an all you can eat salad bar.
I urge you to look for ways to give your fellow photographers a hearty pat on the ass. Or really, anyone you feel is worth groping in a promotional joining of hands whether they wield a camera or brush or typewriter or pencil...or even if they don't fall into a category but have given you something special along your journey to wherever. Share their website or give them a shoutout. Mention their work to people who will appreciate their love and sacrifice to something they feel so strongly about creating. Hell, spend a few dollars on a piece of original art if you can to help them feed the monkey. I personally guarantee that it will fortify the person who's work you support and along the way make you feel damn near bulletproof and that you've made a difference. Because you will.