My yen and yang; photography and art. I see one of these as a help to the other, without one, the other suffers. On the world wide web, photography is all the buzz. Make just one wedding photography comment on Facebook and it will be clear how many opinions there are regarding the profession (or in some cases hobby). Wedding photography is a hotbed for great and not so great photographers to defend themselves publicly.
What about fine art? Why is the world of painting and drawing so dead on the Internet? I can see photography as fine art too, I just have a hard time with some of it. Call me a purist, but as a fine artist and a photographer, it is clear to me what the difference between photography and art really is. Then again, it is subjective, and has little to do with this post. Then again, at the heart of it...it does matter to this post.
Even though my art and photography coexist in my creative heart and mind, it is easy for me to use photography as a crutch (think easy buck and instant gratification). Though I work hard at creating good photos, I often forget how much effort goes into creating an oil painting of the same subject.
There lies the rub, the time factor. Can I charge for my time like a photographer, or should I charge my artist rates as a photographer? I find this to be terribly difficult, and I also imagine, this is one reason why photography is buzzing the Internet more than oil paintings. Think about this, there are thousands of photos uploaded to social media every second of every day. How many of them are photos of a painting? If I told you a commercial photographer could charge a beer manufacturer his time, costs, and even license usage for a few photos at a rate of $15,000 per day would you believe me? Would that same beer manufacturer pay for a series of the same images as oil paintings? If so, would they be willing to pay for it?
I would love to do a commercial shoot with a craft brewery, then turn around and paint the selected images for their campaign. After painting them, license the images of the paintings to them and make the same amount as the photographer who would be paid to make commercial photos. Why? Because I can do both...is there a market for that? Could I charge $25,000 for 4 images like the photographer? My guess is, no...there is no market for it, and the art directors of the ad campaigns would never use a painting when a photo is all they are after. The phrase "good enough" comes to mind.
It may be worth a look, me combining my passions...my yen and yang of my creative heart and soul...into doing commercial product paintings for leaders of the craft beer industry. Maybe if one of my friends at Stone Brewing Company reads this, they could call me to discuss it?