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“Remember the Joy” by Bill Bachmann (Part 3)

August 4, 2009

Book Excerpt: Remember the Joy by Bill Bachmann (Part 3)

PhotoEdit is glad to welcome back prominent stock shooter Bill Bachmann for another informational excerpt from his newest book, Remember the Joy, which offers tips on “how to have a successful career in photography and have fun doing it.” In this third and final segment, Bill, who is one of the premier travel and lifestyle photographers in the world, discusses ways to make photography more fun for those who may have forgotten to “remember the joy.”

Outdoor portrait of Black young woman and White young woman spinning on merry-go-round at a park playground

I stated in the first chapter that one purpose of this book was to keep your photography career exciting and fun. One reason it is still fun for me today, after these years of work, is because I look for many ways to make it fun. I will share some of these joyful methods with you in this chapter. These suggestions are for photographers who want to recapture the joy in this world of photography.

1. Join a local camera club

Whether you are a professional or amateur, you will find friends and inspiration in a local camera club. I belong to several professional photography organizations and I do attend meetings regularly. But they are different…they are dealing with pricing, client relations, usage, new equipment, the “how to” of the business. As good as those meetings are, there just isn’t a whole lot of joy around! But my Orlando Camera Club is totally different. Here many of the members just want to learn and share for the sheer joy of photography. We have over 400 members and I so look forward to the twice-monthly meetings whenever I am in town. I almost always leave the meetings either inspiring others or being inspired myself! And that is a wonderful feeling. Each month we have themed competitions and I love to see how so many of my friends there interpret the theme.

I would recommend that you join a camera club where you live. It is how I have met so many friends that love photography and we now go off and shoot together because we love it.

East Indian woman prays in front of the Yamuna River with the Taj Mahal in the background, Agra, India

2. Go around your neighborhood with just a camera and look for interesting pictures

Yes, in your own neighborhood with no assignment, no commissions, no real job. Just shoot for the fun of shooting again. Years ago I taught a class at Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute and gave my students one- or two-word assignments to shoot in black and white. They often blew me away with their own interpretations, and I still do it often myself. Try a self-assignment like “textures,” “love,” or “good friends” and surprise yourself with your own interpretation. I still remember one student’s idea with “good friends” as the theme. He shot a black and white close-up of an older man’s hands on his well-worn trumpet. Beautifully done—so much so that I still vividly remember that image with that title after all these years.

I guarantee you will refresh your photographic mind and senses as you explore your own surroundings. It will be a breath of fresh air to you. Just looking around your own area of the world will allow you to notice things you never have.

3. Plan your own photo exhibit

Take a trip, or find an interesting topic to photograph, and then blow up the prints for your own one-man show. You can have the show in a gallery or even a bank—but it will allow you to shoot photography for the art itself. It is fun again when it is not for money! This exhibit may even bring you more business and exposure, but make sure you did it for the sheer joy of art. You will shoot much differently for a show than you ever would commercially, and that could be just the needed refreshment in your work again.

Visitors view the biennial Flower Carpet woven from begonias and displayed on the Grand'Place(Market Square) at night, Brussels, Belgium

4. Publish your own book

Yes, publish a book of YOUR photography. I’ve shot over 1,000 magazine covers, and some were quite prestigious. In all humility, however, no matter how good they were, they were in the garbage next month (or are in a dentist’s office). They have no long shelf life, simply replaced by next month’s issue. That is one of the great things about publishing your own book. Long after you are gone it will still be somewhere in the ancient Library of Congress. And no friend, family member, or client will throw away a signed copy. You will have a great gift to give for many years. Books probably won’t make money for you—that should not be your goal. You will be proud of the effort, as will your loved ones. Today’s digital printing can allow you to produce a book without having to start with major up-front costs. You can often find a printer who can produce small quantities as you need them for a more reasonable price.

Evzones, the historical elite light infantry and mountain units of the Greek Army and now members of the Proedriki Froura, the presidential guards, perform changing of the guards ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens, Greek


This concludes the final excerpt from Remember the Joy by Bill Bachmann. We thank Bill for allowing us to offer these valuable excerpts. If you are interested in ordering Remember the Joy or any of Bill’s other fantastic books, please visit his order page by clicking here. To see Bill’s complete collection of travel, lifestyle, and other worldwide multi-ethnic images on the PhotoEdit site, you can click through to his lightbox by clicking here. Want to see more posts from Bill in the future? Let us know!

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