Good question! Glad no one asked. It’s definitely not to make money.
It’s easy to assume that no one can make money as a photographer anymore with the proliferation of tools that lower the bar of entry, but photography has almost never been about the technical prowess of the photographer. Instead it’s about telling a story and evoking feelings and that is VERY hard to do well. Tools like Instagram or Facebook and services like Blurb can go a long way from making a mediocre storyteller into a decent one, but there’s really no substitute for someone with vision. For me photography was always a hobby I could pick up and put down until I started trying to tell stories. Now I find myself planning trips, rushing home after my day job, and staying up all hours to work on processing pictures. Getting paid would be nice but I like that I’m the narrator not the ghost writer.
So what does this picture tell us? For one it’s definitely cold, though obviously trending warmer. The ice is melting, the model is dressed in a hoodie not a heavier jacket. Secondly the model is quite obviously stoked to be there. Who wouldn’t be? But the condition of his hair definitely speaks to both wind and the nap he took to get there. Wonder where he’s going afterwards? How is there so much snow across the lake and not this side? How is the sky so blue? And where did he get these great sunglasses?
All kidding aside, the story here is I have a great husband who puts up with standing in the freezing wind while I take pictures. I do so love the role of storyteller; I want to travel and explore the world. Not everyone gets that experience and if I can share just a little bit of the awesomeness I see in the world to someone else that’s fine by me. On top of that I’ve always been someone who tries to live in the moment and my pictures are my attempt to freeze those moments to share and treasure.
Though if someone wants to buy a print, hey I’m all for it.
PS: If you’re curious where this is, it’s from a series I’m posting on Flickr from our trip to Bodie, CA. This is Caples Lake which is about two hours outside Bodie. You can visit the series here.