No one picks up a camera because he thinks it’s the raison d’être to start a business. Anyone — everyone — who does wants to support their art (as you may); and you hope it will support you, in turn. (FYI most photographers either don’t know how or don’t have enough time to maximize the pecuniary aspects of photography.) So, in that sense, of course, you shoot for yourself. Granted. However, invariably you have to shoot for a client to support yourself; unless you’re independently wealthy. I’ve known a few — very few — of those kinds of photographers.

Or, if you have clients, then, of course, you shoot for them; to please them. No clients? Amateurism is noble, too. But do you really shoot for yourself? As an artist? Certainly you shoot to support your habit of collecting experiences of one sort or another. Perhaps you want others to see and feel what you experienced when you made that photograph. It’s an enjoyable experience. It’s a life (or a pasttime).Or is it really enjoyable if others don’t enjoy what you’ve done. (Do you keep your photographs to yourself?) Truthfully, you shoot to please other people, so they will have a good opinion of you; so they will know you.

I’ve never met a photographer who didn’t want recognition — ultimately. You shoot for recognition. That should not be an embarasment. It’s an ineluctable fact, further evidenced because you would write about why you “shoot for yourself.” It’s a bit pretentious to think otherwise. I can say so, having had nearly a half century of experience doing it. If you don’t know it now, you will later.

No. No one shoots for himself.


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ARTREPRENEUR, PHOTOGRAPHER, CLARINETIST, MOTORCYCLIST Fate follows the path of least resistance. Success follows the path of maximum persistence.

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