I belong to a few photography Meetup and Facebook groups. There are often calls for photographs for contests or gallery shows. I occasionally think that would be kind of fun. But just as soon as I do, that other critical voice (OCV) which lives in my head says, “Why bother? Yeah, your work is decent, but there will be so many images that are better than yours, anyway. Besides, you don’t have time to go through thousands of images to figure out what you would enter. Just forget it.” And no matter what anyone else might say about my photographs, the OCV is louder and more persuasive. So I cave and put that little spark out of my mind, returning to my wannabe life.
Since the beginning of this year, the thought of maybe entering something – anything – has knocked on my mental door again. The OCV is ever ready to slam that door, hard and fast, but something different happened this time. I was invited. I was invited by another local photographer to enter a couple of pieces in a gallery showing. Specific photos she chose.
Funny how a real, live, personal invitation changes things. Not to minimize the people who have complimented my work, but this somehow gave me validation. I know – I shouldn’t need that, should I? My photographer approval rating should not come from other people. But in my shallow, not-at-all-confident-in-my-work sort of way, I guess it does. But this? For me, this was huge.
So I called her. And got the details. And did a happy dance. On the inside, apparently. Kind of weird, as I’m a fairly expressive person. John was ready to do the happy dance for me since he thought I wasn’t.
I needed titles for my photos. I also need to provide her with a price. A price?!? Oh my. That’s the worst. I am no more able to appropriately price my work than twirl pirouettes on the tip of the Chrysler Building. One title came easily. The other, not so much. The pricing? Well, I’ll come up with something. Lower than others might think I should. But for the girl with the OCV it’ll be the best I can do.