Feature Story


Life Cycle of Photography
Heading Home
Follow the Leader
Mara River Crossing
In Search of Water
The Stare of a King
Saving Some for Later
I've Got My Brother's Back
Tribal Dance
Kenyan Village

When I tell people that I am a photographer, the first question I am asked is, what do you photograph? I'm sure all photographers are asked the same question and the answers vary. I like to say that I photograph subjects that I believe in, and I don't just mean believing that it exists. It is believing that creating a picture of the subject will create awareness to the viewer and in turn, circle back to benefit the subject. I have created a diagram that illustrates this concept and I hope to see it fuel passion into photographers and those that support the artists.

It all starts with the subject, let's face it, a camera is useless without a subject. The subject inspires the photographer to create a picture to be viewed as artwork and to communicate an idea. The artwork then creates awareness to the viewer and compels them to support the artist or organization. They can support the artist or organization by purchasing the artwork or buying the product of the organization. These contributions are what create more opportunity for photographers and support the subjects that they believe in. The idea is that the circle will keep growing, benefiting more subjects, reaching more viewers, helping to make the world a better place.

One of my favorite subjects is the wildlife and people of Africa. I have photographed the African wilderness all my life and I am always inspired to create artwork to share with those that are interested. When people buy my art it gives me the opportunity to give back to the National Parks in Africa by bringing them more tourist revenue that they rely on for their conservation efforts. By supporting the National Parks and Lodges with return visits, I can create more artwork and the circle continues.

Now I realize that this is a very ideal concept and it may not always work. When it doesn't work it is because a piece of the circle is missing. In today's era, the piece that is typically missing is the support to the artist or art buyer. Unfortunately a lot of people buy mass produced art from large corporations that do not support the artists that originally created it. I believe in the goodness of humanity and that most people would support the artist by purchasing original art if they understood this "circle of benefits".

So I ask, fellow photographers, focus on being better rather than bitter at those that don't support you. Don't sell your photography to companies that will make thousands of dollars off of your artwork without ever giving you what you deserve. In the digital world, there are now more photographers than ever. I challenge you to spread the word and encourage people to buy original art to help give back to the subject that made the artwork possible.

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—The JPG team

2 responses

  • David Eastham

    David Eastham gave props (30 Dec 2008):

    My vote.

  • Nicole DeVita

    Nicole DeVita gave props (15 Feb 2009):

    Powerful shots!! great look on photography! Got my vote!

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