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7 - A New Identity

We all have many identities.

An easy illustration is the many roles we move through in a single day: significant other, parent/caregiver, worker, bon vivant, and/or ?

Saying I'm a photographer is a statement of an identity.

When college students saw the identity of the photographer protagonist in the film Blow Up, enrollment in college photography programs increased.

The Blow-Up photographer's work is indistinguishable from his leisure; his utopian pad is at once boutique, laboratory, harem, and house beautiful.1

What's your photography identity?

The answer is in every chapter of PATH.

Remember how self-conscious you may have been as an adolescent?

Many adolescents report feeling that they're in front of an audience.

This is due largely to a healthy narcissism that's required for their growth into adulthood.

In part, the being-in-the-spotlight feeling is because they're trying on new identities.

Many of my students are moving from being snap shooters to being photographers.

They often report feeling self-conscious on the street when they're doing their first assignment.

Their thoughts and feelings, such as Who am I as a photographer? and Can I do this? put them on stage.

The self-consciousness passes quickly as they button up their photographer identities.

Later in the book, we'll discuss how you may now have two audiences for your photography and your photographer identity:

1) The lay audience, snap shooters

2) Those who are applying their visual aptitudes with more awareness and effort.

1 Originally published in the Village Voice in 1991: Hoberman, J. (1995). Blow-Up at 25: After the orgy. In P. Keough (Ed.), Flesh and blood (pp. 31-36). San Francisco: Mercury House.