Living the Dream

Last night, Lenny invited me to visit Jim Trotter.  Jim is a St. Louis-based photographer, working out of his home.  His specialties seem to be model shoots as well as architectural photography, and his images are spectacular.

Jim’s studio was astounding!  There were works covering the walls, enormous printers capable of printing images on canvas or printing images several feet wide, and a spacious shooting studio.  Jim was kind to us, indulging us with some insight into his workflow — using a PowerMac, Wacom tablet and Photoshop as his tools… all familiar friends to me.  He also showed off some of his gear.  He shoots a lot of large and medium format film as well as digital medium format.  I was really impressed with the resolution of the images that he produces with this gear.  He’s able to enlarge images to fantastic dimensions, all because he starting with such a large source image.

And then there was his home.  It was filled with artwork in progress.  Every room had something that either he or Joyce (his wife) were working on.  Aside from the home being beautiful, it was an extension of the two of them and of the studio, a reflection of travels and experience.  What people hang on their own walls is a window into their soul, and from the looks of their walls, this couple really enjoys their work and passion.

Jim told me about a local artist group, ArtDimensions, that happens to be meeting tonight.  I think I’ll go downtown tonight, and check them out.  It sounds like a great opportunity to get some of my work exhibited in town, and gain a little exposure that I wouldn’t otherwise have had.

I hold no illusion that I’ll be shooting at Jim’s level — that’s a far reach! — and I don’t expect to be shooting models.  It’s not what Jim’s photographing that’s the dream, it’s the fact that he is neck-deep in his photographic work, day in and day out.  For me, the dream is working at something that you’re passionate about, something that’s personally rewarding and satisfying.  The dream is creating art that can touch someone, and elicit a positive emotion from them, maybe brightening their day just a little.

That’s living the dream, and I will live it one day.