What's wrong with having a hobby?


Link Posted 29/04/2017 - 12:29
Hi All,

Long before I took up photography I was already into creating wildlife art but with water color paintings and pencil drawings. I must admit that I quite like it as visitors at my house have a closer look at my work on the walls, especially when people do not realise that I am the creator so any comments are less biased.
The fact I most appreciate is that all the attention goes to the art work and no endless conversations about the tools used for creating the work. Often I get the question why I don't try to sell my work. I always explain that I like doing it as a hobby.. so only when it suits and to relax and most important when I have inspiration and certainly can't be bothered with any possible stress involved to produce enough material to fill an exposition and have to take in consideration what is in demand on the market.

Now.. with wildlife photography it's kind of the same for me, being in the great outdoors and all the excitement when approaching the subject to hopefully get the shot I'm after ..and most important ..whenever I feel up to! I don't think I would enjoy it as much as my income (even partly) would depend on it. Although the majority of the people I have those discussions with (whether they photographers or not) disagree with me and suggesting I should at least start using social media to show my images to the world, anticipate in competitions perhaps try to sell online (and most annoyingly.. those who suggesting I should start offering workshops).

Of course I can see the point of it all but what's wrong nowadays with just having fun and enjoy your hobby?

What are your thoughts?



Link Posted 29/04/2017 - 13:53
Nothing wrong with that at all. I think you should just do what you feel comfortable with.

The only counter argument I have to that is that sometimes it's good to stretch ourselves outside our "comfort zone". This can lead to improvement and honinbg of skills, or discovery of skills that we didn't know we had.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 29/04/2017 - 14:14
I am with you on that K30pete and can totally empathise. Many years ago I was persuaded to take a few of my paintings to a local gallery where they subsequently sold a couple. However when they asked me for some more it completely stymied my work, thinking all the time it had to be good enough to take in and failing to finish anything. I have since submitted some to exhibitions with one in particular being well received, but it is an expensive process. Also you get to think why is some rubbish accepted when yours isn't; the online equivalent is how many likes and comments an image gets although that doesn't cost anything. I wondered why some pretty mundane photos got hundreds of likes and comments on Flickr until I realised they had been put into dozens of galleries with loads of key words which seems to me a bit infantile. Just doing stuff for your own pleasure is much less time-wasting and more rewarding.


Link Posted 29/04/2017 - 14:37
Sounds like you've got a natural talent Peter artistically speaking and even better potentially if the digital 'photography' dovetails nicely with that.

I can understand the concerns about not wanting to get stressed out or to feel pressured in any way but maybe work you have already done could be offered for sale on a 'suck it and see' basis...as is. The acid test is whether other people like your creations enough to be prepared to pay for them...sounds like they probably do from what you have said.

Personally if I were in your shoes i'd be tempted to 'dip my toes' just to test the market and see if I could make a few hundred pounds a year (for minimal ongoing effort) as a means of subsidising the cost of the equipment which lets face it can be quite expensive if funded entirely on no expectation of recouping some of the cost.

Financial considerations aside, I think I would like the feeling of knowing that other people valued what I had created from a purely artistic viewpoint as well.

If you feel unhappy or under any pressure then you could always stop...you don't owe anybody.
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