Do you know what are the clues to be successful in photography or in any kind of art? Well, they’re mostly the same in any other field and I’m sorry but we don’t know the answer, partly because it’s 50% hard work and 50% luck.
I’d love to skip this topic and keep talking about Art and what moves us no matter what others say, and what makes us create to make this world better… but sometimes we must stick to reality and face the fact that we need to earn money from what we do to continue doing it (unless we’re rich and don’t need to work for a living.) and that means someone knows we’re working hard on our art. It makes me so sad seeing many good photographers who quit their careers (or possible careers) as professional photographers just because they dedicate their lives to another cause, from which they earn what they need to live and to which they give all their time and energy. It also makes me sad seeing good work that is not being recognized as it should.
Fortunately (or unfortunately), internet is a great tool to “be successful” nowadays. We are not going to give you the clues because, as mentioned before, the writer here doesn’t know them, but we are going to try to be objective on this matter and do a clear analysis of the issue. Does success mean that many people know your work? Not at all! You can be successful in your art, in your life… with no one knowing, but if you want to make a living of that you will need to be known (we support all those artist who feel they’re being successful in their fields, no matter how many people know them, but that’s another issue.)
British photographer Rosie Hardy started with a flickr account in March 2008. She was born an artist, as many of you, dear readers; although she hadn’t discovered it yet (or at least not in her photography.) She dived into exploring her identity as a photographer and an artist when she quickly received the recognition of many flickr users. She was acclaimed by the audience, understanding “audience” as the “flickr audience”, that is to say, “common” people from all around the world, some of them having some artistic background or knowledge, and some other just fans of “beautiful things”. No offence… that is flickr.) When you’re succeeding it’s inevitable that you’re going to get some bad critiques and I’m afraid Rosie did. She just put herself out there in the internet showing her creations, being young, talented and controversial and, of course, the “moral judges of the world” tried to diminish her desire. Luckily, in some occasions that is the best action to feed that same desire to create.
From the very beginning, I’ve just been a mere observer. I sometimes liked her pictures very much and some others I didn’t just because it’s not my style or whatever it might be, but I always loved her daring spirit showing herself clear, trying to depict the world she lives in, facing taboos, giving names to real problems and, the most important, she broke the established rules to create her own. You may like her work or not, but she’s doing it and it’s admirable.
As an observer of her evolution I was very happy to see last summer that she had been requested by the American music group Maroon5 to do their latest album’s cover Hands all over. From what she tells it’s been all thanks to the internet and that flickr account she created in March 2008, although I strongly believe it’s been basically thanks to her constant work and effort, her spirit ofself-improvement, taking pictures everyday when she was still finishing school, imagining what she was able to create with her camera. She used her imagination to shout at the world what she wanted to say. She’s still learning and exploring on different techniques and from her inspiration… so I’d say that is the core of her work: keep working.
Do you want to succeed? Again, who knows if you will! But I’m sure the main ingredients are always the same: 1) start doing what you want to do, 2) keep doing it, persist in it, it’s what you like so you’r gonna lose nothing, and it will give you experience from which you’ll learn, you’ll get better and you’ll find your identity; 3) promote yourself, use all the tools we’ve got nowadays and if you want, don’t doubt to contact us, we’ll promote you, we’ll spread the word, it’s part of our job… and last but not least: DARE! don’t do what others do, do what you want to do!
(Rosie Hardy is currently working as a wedding photographer doing artistic and inspiring works for her clients as well as doing some workshops in the UK. )