You are making pictures for a long or short time. You have taken doses of pictures and you like to show them to the audience. Maybe this is one of your dreams to get kind of recognition of your work, spending hours in the studio, on the street or in nature. But, how do you get this far to fulfill one of your goals or even dreams?
This goal was actually the reason why I started this blog. Writing about my journey to reach the goal to have an exhibition. Where to start and when are you skilled enough to give or requested to do an exhibition, that is my question. Actually, you have to get your goal in mind to get better and better every time you have your camera in your hands. But, the needed fuel towards your goal is making pictures with a lot of fun and pleasure!
Until last week I had still no clue how to get to that goal. I do have a lot of fun being on the streets and improve my skills, especially my training my eyes to see what is happening around you and be quick enough to react. To get me inspired and to learn, I am very active on Instagram. Check my Instagram profile here. I follow other people which are interesting enough. One of the profiles I follow for some time is @rawstreetphotogallery. RawStreet Photogallery is a platform for emerging street photographers. They have a gallery in Rotterdam and are opening more galleries in Europe soon. You should definitely check their website RAW Street Photogallery.
A couple of weeks ago, they posted a request on Instagram to contact them if you like to be part of the RAW Street photography family. I thought, let's try it because waiting for somebody who will contact you is not the best strategy. What I always say:
If you want to reach your goal, don't sit and wait for a miracle to happen. Even if you think that somebody always is lucky, you don't even know how much energy and work that person has given to get that "miracle"... So be proactive, if you don't do it, somebody else will become the lucky one.
If people, certainly with a lot of experience, want to listen to you it will boost your self-esteem. With this mindset, I went to the website and I filled the form, added some of my best pictures. The next day I got a very positive reaction from the owner of the gallery. He liked my work and was also very positive about my blogs. Different than the most of the people he had spoken. As you can image, I was very surprised. He would like to talk to me and we made an appointment at the gallery in Rotterdam.
I traveled to the gallery and met Alexey. After a short introduction about his gally and Raw Street photography family, I told about why I contacted him. I want to learn what he thinks about my work and what is needed to get a Gallery at a certain moment.
First I showed him my work. It was a diversity of my best-selected pictures. Check some of these on my galleries page.He like some of my pictures and that is very nice to hear from somebody who has seen many pictures. I found out that working towards a gallery takes a lot of time and shooting thousands of pictures. But not only shooting that much images. I have learned a very important lesson.
What I have learned from Alexey's Raw Street Photogallery
- To understand how you need to build up a picture, that cost years of training and shooting pictures
- If you are able to shoot 10 really great and perfect images in a year, you are doing quite well
- You must be able to have the feeling to understand a creative process
- Choose a subject that you like to show other people with your photos, this will be a possible project for future exhibitions /galleries
- subjects could be: people, expressions, shadows, silhouettes, but maybe like to show your city from reflection from windows etc. show your city with a certain emotion caught in pictures from your perspective.c
- Don’t copy others people work, create your own style
- An exhibition will be one day possible but don’t put this pressure on your shoulders
- if you have a project with 10 to 15 amazing images, try contact raw street photo gallery for your first one!
Alexey had a great story about finding your subject, he told me there was a photographer who wants to take pictures of the people in a certain bar. That should be an easy subject you might think. But before you can get close to somebody, you need to create kind of relationship with that person. Before he starts taking pictures of the people there, he got drunk every day for a week to build that relationship. After this week he starts to ask if he could make photographs and everybody in the bar liked to work with him. An amazing peace of art and a great subject to have an exhibition.
This conversation with Alexey gave me a view how "professionals" are working. You can be a good photographer, but it is all about the details and to work on a subject with your personal view.
It can take years before you are able to have your own exhibition. But if you are an emerging photographer, you have those amazing pictures and you are ready for an exhibition. Contact Raw street photography for sure!
A tip from my viewpoint:
I can be someone who can get a tunnel vision when I chose my subject or even worse. I can think of about a subject for a long time and this could ruin your fun in photography. If I have no subject, I keep still shooting pictures. Because you might come with a project/subject at a later moment and older pictures can be part that.
Have fun and keep on capturing great moments that last forever!
All the best!
Examples of subjects
Example 1: Kokomo Beach Pier (Curacao)
As an example of selecting a subject, I have chosen this pier from my last trip to Curacao.
I was enjoying my holiday and in front of me, I saw this pier. Even on the beach, I had my FujiFilm X100f close to me. There was a lot happening here. This is subject to show people how much fun people can have at the water on this pier.
Example 2: The Contrast of Curacao
I have chosen contrast in my second example. Here I want to show you some images of the contrast between wealth and poverty. This is always an interesting subject to work on. Because this contrast is everywhere. Poverty does not mean people or not happy and could be also an interesting subject.