Do I even stand a chance..? : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread


I am one of those 1000's of amateurs out here wondering if my dream to one day actually make a living out of my photography is realistic or not... I just recently put up a site with some of my favorite images and would be honored if you would have a look and let me know if I should pursue this dream or if I should just face reality.

I have been taking photography seriously for about a year and a half now and this is what I have come up with... Please be brutually honest...

Regards and thanks, Richard Silfverberg

-- Richard Silfverberg (, April 10, 1999


I like your work however I do not see a market for this kind of work except in news paper work .I think you should talk to some guys how make there living every day. You may find that give you little of the freedom you imagine I say again I do like the pictures

-- david hodgson (, April 14, 1999.

Hi Richard,

funny. i was visiting this site's forum when i saw your name and recognized it from photocritique. anyway, i looked at your portfolio and saw some very good images, some of which i recognize. the question of whether or not you "stand a chance" i can't answer because i don't have the expertise. i could say something trite like, "you'll never know if have a chance until you take a chance," which may be true but i don't think that's the realistic answer you are looking for. the way i see it, you are making a comfortable living now (comfortable enough to engage one of the most expensive "hobbies" for lack of a better word) and still have time to devote your own time to photography. but what if your living depended on it? what if you had to take pictures other people dictated? wouldn't that be worse in a sense? there are many people who make a living from photography but perhaps that job is not as fulfilling as it seems. this viewpoint is perhaps the hard-to- swallow reality from an idealist. i certainly don't believe that photography as a living always has to be a compromise but even w. eugene smith with all his vision couldn't "make it" professionally. i'm ambivalent. as i write this i half believe the reality and half believe the dream. in the end, you (we) can be happy because at least we have our cameras and can still take photos whenever we feel like it.

regards, duy

-- Duy Q. Tran (, January 24, 2000.

Richard, you do stand a chance. I think it all comes down to what you are willing to sacrifice to make a go of it, and how you define "make a living."

From information at your site it sounds like you probably have a good career going which allows you to travel. This may be, as someone else has pointed out, the best of both worlds.

For only a year-and-a-half experience you show great promise as a photographer. You'll have to look into what opportunities exist and balance that with your wants and needs. If you really have the desire, and not just a dream, to be a photographer, you will become one.

I'll leave you with this quote from Henry James: "Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, "This is the real me," and when you have found that attitude, follow

-- Rich Mason (, June 14, 2000.

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