For many, making and/or taking pictures is a process that often provides the opportunity to capture a moment, event, place or person we find compelling, interesting, whimsical or just plain hard to resist. Images are nurtured in a darkroom, computer or some version of workflow that eventually produces a print that best represents the original vision. A series of pictures slowly and carefully begins to take shape and eventually becomes a body of work. The work might maintain a defined theme (landscape, portrait, urban, rural, still life, etc.), or venture off during the course of a lifetime. The images that are the most meaningful are those that mean the most to you.
Sharing personal work with friends, family and likeminded photographers is a great opportunity to connect with an enthusiastic audience. The work can educate, inspire and in certain situations (portfolio review, workshop, print critique) provide feedback to enhance and refine our methodology. A gallery exhibition provides additional exposure and allows the work to reach a broader audience. The recognition of our work and efforts is a well-deserved acknowledgement of our dedication and passion. Such affirmations are a positive boost to the psyche. It’s gratifying to see the work displayed and realize its broader reach and potential to influence.
What comes next? Until recently that might have been a more complex question to answer. In the past one could only hope that someone would see the work that either had a connection to publishing or knew someone, who knew of someone who might be interested in looking at your portfolio. It’s a long shot at best, but difficult to resist nonetheless. Combine technology with opportunity and the result is a number of satisfying self-publishing choices.