Who am I in the photography world? I lack training or any formal photo related education. I certainly did not go to art school or make a thesis statement. I have never had a show at a gallery, or coffee shop, or dive bar. I have no style or signature thing that I do.
I am a self taught amateur who happens to be in the photolab business. I have every tool imaginable at my disposal, so I can tinker about with processing and printing, though ironically I can only grasp the basics of photoshop.
I tell you this because I recently entered some of my work in a local photo exhibition. This is not San Francisco. This is just south of the city in an unamed(you figure it out) beach community of 40,000. I live here. We do not have a Whole Foods or a fancy restaurant, and I would say this is not a sophisticated town. We do have an art center that has regular shows, and I realize that the size of a community has little to do with the artists in residence. This was a juried show and as far as I could tell from the entry form, there was no clear theme. For 15.00 bucks per you can enter as many pieces as you like.
So I entered thinking, what the hell it’s a small town, maybe I’ll get in. Well I did not. I got a letter saying so, and little else. Now I’m pissed! Who is this jury person to reject me, and why can’t I at least have a one sentence critique? And, what the hell is a juried show anyway? Jury of my peers? It’s one person I’ve never heard of. I’m crushed and my ego is bruised and I will berate this art show to anyone sitting next to me in the local dive bar. The bar where starting next month you might be seeing some new work by a certain unschooled photographer who for now, shall remain nameless.