ConversationPhotography: Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and her Photography Professor. Student: Professor Johnson, there is something that's been on my mind. Professor: OK? Student: Remember last week, you told us that it's really important to get our photography into a show, basically as soon as we can? Professor: Yup, it's a big step, no question. Student: Thing is, I am sitting here and I am just not sure how I'd get there. I mean I've got some work I like, but is it really what a gallery is looking for? How would I know, how do I make the right contacts to get it into a show, I just really don't ... Professor: OK, hold on, slow down. Um ... these are questions that, well, just about every young artist has to struggle with. OK, the first thing you should do is you absolutely have to stay true to your artistic vision; take the pictures you want to take. Don't start trying to catch the flavor the month and be trendy because you think you'll get into a show – that never works, because you wind up creating something you don't really believe in. It's uninspired, and won't make any shows. I've seen it happen so many times. This doesn't mean that you should go into a cave. Keep up with trends, even think about how your work might fit in with them, but don't mindlessly follow them. Student: Well, yeah, I can see that. I think though I have always been able to stay pretty true to what I want to create, not what others want me to create. I think that comes through in my work. Professor: OK, just remember that is one thing to create work that you really want to create when it's in the classroom. The only thing at stake is your grade. But work created outside the classroom? That can be in different story. I'm not talking about technique or things like that. It's just that there is so much more at stake when you are out there making art for a living. There's a lot of pressure to become something you are not, and people often surrender to that pressure. Student: But to get stuff exhibited ... Professor: Well, you need to be a bit of an opportunist. You know, common sense things like always having a sample of your work on hand to give to people. You won't believe the kind of contacts and opportunities you can get in this way. And try to get your work seen in the places like restaurants, bookstores, you'd be surprised how word gets around about photography in places like that. Student: OK it's just so hard to think about all of those practical things and make good work, you know.