Good Morning Everybody,
Many of you may be wondering why I have been waxing with such reminiscing these last few days. I’m not trying to be boring or melodramatic with these posts. The exact opposite is true. What I’m trying to do is share with my DPT readers some of my most sincere feelings about this wonderful profession and share with you a little of my personal history that may be helpful to you or anyone else on their personal journey.
Trying To Smooth The Path
In the beginnings of my career I never had access to the behind the scenes thoughts, insights, and feelings of my mentors. The internet didn’t exist and the best you could do was attend any number of workshops and classes coming your way in your part of the world. That was all well and good but I think it would also be helpful if new and aspiring photographers could read about how one photographer found his way into this wonderful profession.
Hopefully my experience might help smooth the path for a future generation of photographers and even those currently traveling that same road. That’s why all these reminiscing posts these last few days and why I am continuing in that same realm for the next few days. I really do hope you enjoy the read.My Personal Statement: My ASP Thesis
These next few posts are from my ASP Fellowship Thesis that I submitted to the American Society of Photographers way back in 1988. The ASP Fellowship is one of the highest honors one can achieve in photography today and it was a goal I had set for myself early on in my career. To date there are approximately 100 ASP Fellows in the world. You can read about the Fellowship Degree right here.
If you’d like to become an ASP Fellow, the first thing you’ll need to do is prepare a thesis. Your thesis must be an original work that describes your life work, professional achievements, photographic philosophy, future aspirations, and major influences. Your thesis should be at least 2,000 words – mine was 5,000 words. Your thesis is a personal statement, it’s a sharing of who you are, how you became a photographer and your artistic vision.
Part 1 of my ASP Thesis – hope you enjoy! -David
A Visit By a Friend
Submitted by David A. Ziser M. Photog. Cr., F-MPA
To the American Society of Photographers
Part 1: Life Is Too Darn Short To NOT Do What You What To Do With Your Life!
Boy, what a gorgeous day! The sun was splashing its soft, morning light lavishly around everywhere. The trees and leaves were gently swaying and actually seemed to be enjoying the little breeze dancing through their branches. I watched the sun play tag with each leaf, their colors and shades were constantly changing against a background of a million other leaves also changing colors and shades as they all rolled and played in the wind. It was an exciting visual morning symphony in green.
As I continued my walk down the road, I noticed my friend also enjoying the beautiful day. He was just sitting there lounging on one of the back porch steps of his home enjoying the scenery. As usual, all the neighborhood “pets” were gathered in his backyard. You see, this was the place where there really was a “free lunch”. His wife and two year old son, on several occasions throughout the week put out various goodies for the birds, ducks, squirrels, and rabbits and any of their friends who wished to join them. It wasn’t always this way though. It originally started with one bird feeder to which the squirrels also took a liking and has evolved into what you see today. His backyard sometimes bears a vague resemblance to the local children’s zoo. But it does add a country touch to his city setting.
He looked my way and smiled as if to confirm my feelings about the day. I called and waved a friendly “Good morning” and changed my course to his back porch. This caused the ducks a bit of consternation as they backed off munching the cracked corn which little Aaron had laid out for them earlier.
I could only enthusiastically agree.
“Just taking it easy today and enjoying the weather?” I asked.
“A person just can’t help from enjoying a day like today,” he said and then continued, “I’ve just been sitting here thinking about how lucky I am.
“I’ve just been collecting my thoughts and ideas on my profession these last several days, and boy, what a wonderful experience. I’ve gotten to see things in a broader prospective than ever before and now I have an even greater appreciation of the joy this profession can bring to those involved in it and committed to it.
“You know, so many people do what they have to do in life instead of doing what they want to do. I get to do what I want to do, everyday!
“Life is too darn short not be able to do what you want to do with it and enjoy it at the same time. Photography gives those of us lucky enough to be involved in the profession the wonderful opportunity to remain constantly enthused with what we are doing.
“Being in photography is like being in a large room in which there are several doors. Above each door is a sign that lists a branch of photography. One may say Portraits, the other - Weddings, another - Fashion, and another Commercial. As we open one of those doors, we see a hallway of more doors each with another sign over it describing further areas of specialization. For instance, if we open the Wedding door, we will see doors that say Wedding Portraits, Pictorials, Formals, Candids, etc.
“We can choose any of these doors and ‘play’ in that room for as long as we choose. If we get bored we can try another door. And if we tire of the hallway we can still try another hallway. I chose Wedding Photography nine years ago (Remember, this paper was written 25 years ago-DAZ) and I’m still running up and down the same hallway. The magic of this profession is that the hallways and doors are endless!!!”
End of Part 1: Food for thought!
Hey gang, I’ll see you again tomorrow for another installment of my Thesis: A Visit By A Friend. LaDawn and I celebrate our 8th anniversary today so we’re planning and easy day so I’m out of here ;~)
Hope to see you tomorrow,