I've met this man in person as a work/study at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. He's got a good heart. Douglas Menuez is his name.
This is an article he posted on Editorial Photographers. The Article
Here is an excerpt from his article that made me smile in a time of huge self-doubt.
Many photographers in crisis did what they thought was sensible at first and got jobs that were practical, deferring the work most valuable to them personally. They feared their personal work wouldn't sell, or they were advised to create a portfolio appropriate to the "market"' they wanted to break into.
To learn about longevity, it's instructive to look at the great masters - pick any that inspired you in your early career or education. I doubt they thought consciously about having long careers. Instead they instinctively made choices that guaranteed that to happen. They were true to themselves from day one. They may have experimented with technique or style, but they were not out there early on with "safe" portfolios designed to grab a trend. Nor were they pulling punches, they were showing the work they were inspired by and passionately believed in. The price paid for their success was often inconceivably high, and sometimes the price was their lives, but I'll venture that to them it was well worth it to be able to express their vision to the utmost. Ultimately, whether they were photojournalists, commercial or fine art photographers, they all got known and paid for creating images driven by their personal beliefs and vision.
(I'm sure many photographers know all this but in case there are few out there as thick as me I'm going to keep beating this dead horse in the event some younger shooters might avoid some of these pitfalls. Who knows, maybe they will even figure out how to re-energize the fight for our rights?)
And yeah, it's fine to do jobs that pay the bills. We can't have our cake now right? I have learned this as I have done various odd jobs to support myself between trips to Santa Fe for seasonal work. They weren't dream jobs that offered a company car but I did enjoy them nonetheless.
My mother told me, as I have mentioned to my friends, to do what makes me happy and not worry so much about pleasing other people. The meaning behind her message was deeper than the literal. I am aware this world isn't an ideal place because of life experiences I had. Being in America often spoils one. Life is harder outside of this bubble of a country. My mother came from Third World poverty in the Philippines. I have no idea what that was like. I can't imagine not having a laptop, digital SLR, or a car. She kept going on because she wanted to survive and keep her family together. She created a family in this country and gave us a life so that we could have better opportunities. I feel that I'm not taking advantage of them as my mother has in her life. My inner voice tells me to pursue happiness wherever it is possible. I have rarely done that and have driven on the safer roads.
I ignored that small, little voice for years on end. I continue to ignore it now despite how often I voice unhappiness with my core. Would pursuing my happiness be my ultimate failure or am I selfish in that desired endeavor? At what cost does happiness truly become worth it? I grew up in the Upper Midwest. Most of the people here are happy with being content and safe. Why not, life can be rough and why complicate things? I'm too young to know any answers that are of use to myself or others. I must have some answer if I am becoming less happy with comfort and complacency.