We recently presented and judged at a photography club. Before our semi-retirement from the photography business the start of this year, we presented, judged or both for a variety of clubs and venues all around west central Florida. As we also belong to this club, most members know us. At least, we thought they knew us.
We both noticed the last few times we judged most of the participants leaned toward nature photography. This time, a friend and officer for the club asked the question of us in front of everyone: “Since you are nature photographers, do you choose nature photography over others?”. She noticed that depending upon the judges, people chose photography that they felt reflected the interests or business of the judges in hopes of being selected.
When we hang photographs with this group, we DO NOT hang nature photography. Until we pointed that out, most never realized it. You see, over ten years ago as naturalists we gravitated toward a portfolio heavier in nature photography. Nature photography resulted in us getting “discovered” and of course a lot of business for us, and a lot of opportunities. We found ourselves with little time or opportunity to show the rest of the portfolio since our nature photography kept us so busy. As master naturalists, and volunteers in natural places, nature photography remains an interest, and perhaps a passion, for both of us. But, we do far more.
I actually prefer to judge non-nature photography, as I run into a mental comparison of how I would do, or in many cases have done, the same photograph. Lack of opportunity to hang and publish the rest of our portfolio partially led to our recent decision to semi-retire.
This blog started almost ten years ago, as people taking our classes, joining our hikes, or interested in our photography frequently asked where we went and what we saw. It started as nature, but we added travel and other aspects. We tried to expand beyond just nature photography, and this question and the ensuing discussion led me examine recent posts and realize I need to work harder on showing our other work.