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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 11 Jun 2013 (Tuesday) 17:45
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A Passion Defeated..

 
BioSpark
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Jun 11, 2013 17:45 |  #1

TL;DR: Family didn't support my passion, want to get back in to it but negative memories prevent me. How do I overcome it?

I'm one of those types of individuals who grew up with art. My grandmother was an artist who taught oil painting and was wonderful at it. My brother is a graphical designer for AOL, and loves to draw. Art runs in my blood. Shortly after getting married, I decided I wanted to try out photography and loved it. I read every book, absorbed every inch of photography. People outside of my family told me I was REALLY good at it. So I decided to start a photography business, and did REALLY good at it. Was getting clients, doing commercial work etc, but then my wife wanted to move closer to her family, so I figured I could start over again someplace new and be successful. We moved and things just fell apart for me.

My mother in law is/was a Bible thumping Christian (I only mention this because it helps understand her values were deranged from the Bible etc) who believed that a "man" should provide for his family (which I agree with). She thought what I did wasn't "real" money, and literally would ridicule me at every family event we would go to. My father in law would make snide little comments about how I was "trying" to be a professional photographer, and my other in laws thought I should be giving them free photography as "family doesn't charge family". This happen for months at end. Until one day I couldn't take it anymore.

I grew discouraged and totally put my camera away. I'm still sad I gave it all up, but the comments just became overwelming. Wherever I turned, my family was telling me how to do things. How I wasn't good enough etc. Fast forward to almost 2 years later and I feel that itch in me to start doing photography again. I work a full time job now as a office manager and I'm proud where I'm at. However, my problem is, when I pick up that camera, a flood of memories comes running back and I can't bring myself to do it.

How do I overcome this? I can't bring myself to do the thing I loved, but I really want to pick up my camera again and feel the energy I used to have.




  
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EastBayGirl
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Jun 11, 2013 18:03 |  #2

I have no idea. I just wanted to say I'm sorry, your in-laws sound awful. You only get one life, make it one you enjoy. Hopefully your wife is supportive, and ignore the rest.
Best of luck to you.


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BioSpark
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Jun 11, 2013 18:05 |  #3

EastBayGirl wrote in post #16021856 (external link)
I have no idea. I just wanted to say I'm sorry, your in-laws sound awful. You only get one life, make it one you enjoy. Hopefully your wife is supportive, and ignore the rest.
Best of luck to you.

Thank you very much. My wife is SUPER supportive of anything I do. However I just know as soon as I pick up the camera and start taking photos again, my in laws are going to be all over me about taking their photos.. their kids photos.. and not pay a cent. :( ::sigh::




  
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Todd ­ Lambert
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Jun 11, 2013 18:14 |  #4

Man, that sucks. Depressed me just reading it.

Best advice I can offer is maybe try shooting landscapes or something other than people, that easy you can tell them you shoot scenery only and try and stress that its a hobby. That way at least you can start shooting again and maybe after awhile when the lose interest, you can start back in ernest doing what you want. Otherwise, I guess you can try being clandestine about it - but that sucks too.


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EastBayGirl
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Jun 11, 2013 18:42 |  #5

You just need to be really busy, and maybe squeeze the time in when it works for you. Just tell them, you'll get back to them with a date that might work (or not, you could always forget?). Family can be a bother sometimes, but you can use them to get back in the groove. If you are at a family function, then send them all the pictures you take of them. If they want to fill up your work time with portrait sessions, then they would be clients (with a family discount, of course). I fully believe it's the persons responsibility to keep their family in check when it comes to their spouse. Maybe your wife could be the middle man? My family is small, so not such a hard thing to control. It sound like yours may be a bit, bigger?

Or leave the camera at home when dealing with them?


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Jun 11, 2013 18:51 |  #6

Seriously, you need to live for yourself and your family and not your in-laws. So long as you are bringing home the back bacon, the family is not suffering and you're not a leech sucking welfare, then your income is good and, yes, it's "real" money.


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cgen1
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Jun 11, 2013 19:04 as a reply to  @ Naturalist's post |  #7

Sad story and unfortunate you had to experience it. But you can not let your in-laws define who you are or what drives your passion. Your family is with your wife and as long as she is supportive it should not matter what the in-laws think or say. Good advice from everyone here and my two cents would be when you pick up your camera think good positive thoughts, forget the past and let your passion for photography take you to a creative place to create your work. It is said "Photography is cheaper than therapy" so let the healing begin, LOL


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mckinleypics
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Jun 11, 2013 19:11 |  #8

I too am a bible-thumping Christian, but don't see how that has anything to do with your story. I don't want to sound harsh but you need to grow a pair and put your in-laws in their place. It isn't like their abuse started when you were 2 years old. Be your own man.


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Jun 11, 2013 19:15 |  #9

EastBayGirl had a great suggestion about taking some pictures at family gathering and I wouldn't even send it to them, just display the ones you like the best and think worth sharing as a part of your portfolio. When they request a shoot, tell them your rates and offer a "Family & friends" discount of say 25-30%.
This way, they feel they are getting a great deal and you aren't working for nothing.
If they suggest that you do it for free, you can simply tell them that you'd do it for free if it was a hobby, but since it's your way of making money and feeding the family, you cannot do it for free.
If you were to own a rental car company, they wouldn't come to you and ask for a free rental, right? They would probably ask for a discount - that's normal, but not for free. Same thing.
I hope it all works out for you.


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mike_311
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Jun 11, 2013 19:35 |  #10

my take. screw them. really sounds rough but why bother listening to people who only care to degrade and put you down.

you get one life, do what you want with it, don't let other people and their values influence YOUR life.


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NCSA197
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Jun 11, 2013 20:03 |  #11

Two issues:
One- Some unkind people were stronger with their criticism than you were with your resolve. Continue your photography, learn what you may need to, accept that there will be a learning curve, and strengthen your resolve if you want to be a photographer.

Two- Someone professes to be a Christian and seems not to be. This has nothing to do with the problem at all. Mother-in-Law may be misunderstanding Christianity to the same extent you may be misunderstanding Christians. She may have much to learn. I have much to learn.
You also may have to learn.....regarding things other than photography. Just a thought.

Please share some of your photographs with us. There are many here who may just be able to supply some encouragement.


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El ­ Duderino
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Jun 11, 2013 20:17 |  #12

Live your own life. If you can make a living with something you love, then do it. Not many people can say that. Your in-laws sound miserable. Sorry, man.


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Jun 11, 2013 20:23 |  #13

I'll come off as "devil's advocate" got anything to show?




  
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Jun 11, 2013 20:24 |  #14

How about posting some of your recent (or old) photos and let's see if your passion is borne out in your work?


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digirebelva
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Jun 11, 2013 20:48 as a reply to  @ Qbx's post |  #15

i am also a bible believer and my pastor keeps asking me when I am going to do it full time....so....it may be her background, but SHE has warped her thinking...like has already ben said, if you were bringing home the bacon, (i.e. supporting the family) then let the in-laws comments roll off your back....and ask her to find in the bible where it states what jobs constitute making "real money"....and since the wife is supportive....that is all you really need to get approval from....good luck


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