Vulnerability

Hailey as Grace Kelly
Hailey as Grace Kelly

Everyone must learn to deal with issues involving trust. In our craft, or art, because a certain aspect of photography is subjective and it’s validity may be cheered or denigrated by a viewer, depending on where that viewer hails from morally, spiritually, or sociologically, it is des rigeur to put ourselves out on an emotional limb so to speak, when we share our work.

So there is risk involved. On many levels. Is my subject valid, am I good enough technically, am I going to be accepted by enough of the commercial market to get a return on all my freelance art based imagery? Will people think I suck? Does anyone care? Do people think less of me as a result of me showing my work?

These are all issues that arise with the advent of those very first efforts in Kindergarten with crayons. We all seek acceptance. But does acceptance indicate validity? Possibly not.

I remember the year I decided to wade into the pool of my new career in photography. S0rt of unwittingly, I simply placed my work in front of some of the best editors and art directors I knew. They seemed to respond and began offering advice and publishing me. Jeff Divine and Larry Moore, aka Flame were two surf industry editors who helped, along with a slew of entertainment industry people. It fueled my direction and in a few years my freelance based photography career expanded globally. I was pretty happy about this, especially since I had two young sons to support, having been newly divorced. (There was a lot on the line).

Knowing then what I know now about the business of photography and art interpretation, would I do it over again? Quite a telling question.  All of us must embrace and mitigate risk via personal artistic and fiscal vulnerability. It is part of the game we play when we endeavor to establish ourselves as being authentic.

Does a construction worker whose hobby is photography, have any more or less validity in his work than someone who risks all? (The answer is in Art History.)  We are all in a race of sorts. The moments of our lives tick by, and for an artist, those will be measured in the level of commitment they make in learning to communicate, and the willingness to embrace the discomforts of vulnerability and potential fiscal disaster.

Success is based on commitment. That first step into the void is a doozy. How comfortable are you with yourself and your decision making process? If you are not, you may be better off, (and happier) keeping that day job.

Seth Godin writes on this theme here, in a very appropriate blog.

Thinking I am telling you not to follow your dreams? Watch this.

I am finally at home. A huge pile of post production work is in front of me after the last two months worth of creative content acquisition. In working through two jobs yesterday, I ran across some images that disappeared in a blog crash last year. Curiousity had me dragging the RAW files into Lightroom 2, a program I had not been using at the time the original work was captured.

Here are some of the images. Hailey and Sierra Partridge in Downtown Ventura. Period 1940’s wardrobe. Styling by Donna Von Hoesslin. Jewelry by BettyB.  Whew, a total of 7 extra hours on the computer. What had I been thinking when I committed to acquire the wardrobe and shoot this in the middle of the night with no real client in mind?:

” This will be great”.

Is it? Only time will really tell. Tick Tock.

Hailey and Sierra
Hailey and Sierra
Sierra
Sierra
Sierra
Sierra
Sierra
Sierra
Sierra
Sierra
Hailey
Hailey
Hailey
Hailey
Sierra and Hailey
Sierra and Hailey
Hailey
Hailey
Hailey
Hailey

8 Responses to Vulnerability

    • Thanks Kiley. I thought about your singing as I wrote this. Heavy standing up in front of a crowd and delivering like you do.

  1. Great work Mr. Puu both in word and image! Would we take the risks again now that we know the cost? Hard to say! But that is the beauty is not knowing all the costs beforehand and only being driven by desire, passion and a need to communicate.

    I am curious how you had access to some of the top editors and art directors at the beginning of your career. Was that from your former career?

    Love the topic of vulnerability. I have noticed in my own writing and image work the more I risk myself, often the more people respond. It’s like that piece of work carries a different energy with it.

    The images are very cool and great styling Donna! Love the fountain ghosting behind Hailey’s head and the bold image of Sierra standing with her coat open. Scrolling down I kept longing to see some of them done in sepia or with scratches and the type of processing that ages them just to see, so glad you tried one in blk n wht. Thanks so much for sharing your vision and lessons.

    I for one and glad you took the risk :). DK

    • Yep DK. the same people I worked with as an athlete and my prior company were the ones who later pushed me along. Ha, I DID do some in sepia and with art filter effects. I will add a few in. Thanks again!

  2. I feel so loved!!! You spend so much of your precious time on my sister and I. These are very stunning, although I think these may be shots of my alter ego, I don’t think you would ever catch me dressed like this…. Really wonderful shots, and if only everyone knew how gosh darn cold it was ; )

  3. David,

    Your commitment to your craft is evident. The willingness to challenge yourself is a true sign that you are self actualizing, something we all strive to achieve in life.
    These images are amazing. What is even more amazing is the fact you did it with no real client in mind.
    Pure creativity.
    Vulnerable, yes, but that is part of self actualizing. To reach new areas of enlightenment.

    Terry

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