Who do you take photographs for? While this may sound like a simple question it is often one of the most difficult to answer. Many shoot with a goal of capturing meaningful moments to share or archive, or perhaps to fill a directive from a client. My own passion led me to seek out subjects of interest or beauty but after early results being questioned I found myself following a subconscious goal of creating work to please others rather than myself.
A subsequent change in mindset now allows me the freedom to create artwork to my own liking, to experiment and to display as I see fit. Do I care what others think of my work? - ABSOLUTELY. However I feel that it is more important to remain authentic and true to myself, and am content with viewers forming their own opinion. Strangely it is only after changing to this mindset that I started gaining the recognition and validation from others that I sought for so many years prior.
So my question to you is - who do you take photographs for? - for the appreciation of others or to satisfy your own creative desires?
Let me know, I would love to hear your feedback and personal experiences
Update Sept 2018
I have just come across a blog entry from an admired artist, requesting critique of an exquisite image. A concern expressed by the artist was that although he enjoys the image and is encouraged to create more he feels that such artwork rarely sells. A viewpoint returned from a 2nd respected artist indicates that although the image may not sell, it is ART, and something to be proud of.
This goes back to my original question/dilemma - are we taking pictures for the benefit of others, or creating art that satisfies perhaps a smaller audience, but most importantly OURSELVES?