Watch out. You might get what you’re after.

 

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A number of you have emailed me asking me to sell photos again.

After my really major surgery – my evisceration – I was faced with a 6 month period of adjuvant chemotherapy.  I made the decision that unlike the first time around, I would not try to work in the shop through that period.  I sent back some down payments, and I just took it easy.  It turned out to be a pretty good decision because that second 6 month round of chemo really brought me to my knees.  There is no way that I COULD have worked during that time.

It isn’t particularly in my nature, though, to be unproductive.  And while we had plenty of support from family and friends, I felt as though I wanted to be able to contribute in some way..  Wanted to be able to help out a little, financially.  So I opened up an Etsy store and sold some photos.  It was quite a success!  You all rose to the occasion and bought prints!

I now find myself in a similar position.  I have retired from bike building, because I simply don’t have the strength.  It is heartbreaking for me, but it seems that the Ultimate Tight Ass HAS turned out to be my ultimate bike.  I mean, I’m not dead yet!!  I’m not making any promises..  But there is no question that the disease is progressing rapidly.  It takes me a long time to get going in the morning, especially on the days that I have to perform my strange gut emptying procedure!  And evening exhaustion seems to be setting in earlier and earlier.  My days, in short, have gotten shorter and are getting shorter still!  (I am writing this at 5:00 in the evening and keep falling asleep mid sentence).

In some ways I am greatly enjoying my retirement.  I am playing pool MOST days.  I have fairly limitless attention and patience for the game.  I typically play for 5 or 6 hours and it does not get boring for me.  And YET!  it does not satisfy the creative urge in me that seems never to go away.  And by creative urge, I mean the urge TO create..  to bring things into being.  The urge to make stuff.  At the end of a day of playing pool, I put my cue away and I head home on the train, and even if I’ve had a great day of pool, I have no artifact to show for it.  The artifacts, somehow, are important to me.

I’ve got some little projects going in the shop.  Pill flasks (keep your eyes peeled.  Those will go fast!), and other small projects that don’t require the commitment of a bicycle.  But printing photos is something that I can do in a physical state that would make working in the shop impossible, or at least a bad idea.

So I’ve decided to go back to selling photos.  I’m working on a section of my photo site where you’ll be able to buy prints.

Now.  This is much more easily said than done.

I worked out all the details.  How to package.  How to ship.  How to deal with the e-commerce.  I got a label printer, so that I wouldn’t be wasting paper, or dealing with messy tape.  Everything was ready to go, streamlined, and then it came time to decide what photos to actually sell.

Suddenly I realized what I should have realized from the very start!  That to put these photos up for sale is to announce that I take myself seriously as a photographer!  The confidence that you are all used to seeing from me, arrogance even, DOES actually have some bounds.  In fact it makes me quite anxious to present myself as a photographer.  I’m not sure why it was easier the last time I sold prints.  Maybe because I felt that there were those of you who wanted to help us out, and that buying a print gave you a way to.  That the photos were just thank you cards for your support..  they might as well have been tote bags!

This time, I’m going to try to be bold and sell you some art.  After much deliberation about how to do this, lots of discussions with friends and family, I think I’ve landed on an approach.

I’ll be making a for sale tab on my photo website live very soon.

48 Replies to “Watch out. You might get what you’re after.”

  1. You most certainly /are/ a serious photographer and I have a print in my home to prove it. Looking forward to the new site!

  2. Awesome! While I found you by bike, it was your photos that stole my heart. You are a photographer, for sure. Can’t wait to have a print hanging on my wall.

  3. Thats great news big brother!!

    Got any kid sized bikes for sale? Or any that would fit someone thats 4’9? Lol. Id love to purchase one of your bikes.

    Love you bunches!!

    Been planning my trip up there! So excited!

  4. There is one I remember from when I first started browsing through your Flickr account of Hill (I think) sitting by a window. I didn’t have a job then. I do now. I hope I get a chance to buy a copy. Thank you for letting us have a chance to own a piece of your amazing photography. You always have been better than “pretty good for a beginner” to me.

  5. Yay!!!!!! I wanted to ask you to sell your photos but figured you didn’t want to be bothered. It would mean so much for me to have one!

  6. Nice!! I have to say, one of the things that impresses me most about you is your unstoppable drive to create, create, create. Under any and every circumstance, you are creating. It’s incredible to see, as well as humbling and inpsiring.

    I’ve got a fair bit of experience with sites and e-commerce systems, those being my day job and all. If there is anything I can do, shoot me an email. I’d be happy to do what I can to lend a hand.

    Take care!
    – Erik

  7. “It isn’t particularly in my nature, though, to be unproductive. ”
    Understatement of the century!

  8. Bring on the prints! I honestly don’t have the words to express what I truly want to say except that I am honored to be a part of your life even through a computer. Thank you….Now I am ready to buy so lets do it!

  9. Here’s what a total stranger, who has asked you to sell some photos because she WANTS some for the walls in her house – because she LIKES them, thinks about this “is ezra a PHOTOGRAPHER” question:

    1. Photography is an art form.
    2. People have argued about what is and isn’t “art” for hundreds of years and many artists produced wonderful work that only became famous and extremely regarded AFTER their lifetimes
    3. Points 1 and 2 are irrelevant. The question DOESN’T MATTER. The fact is that there are people who have been so touched by your photography or your blog posts or your deep love for your wife – or ALL of these things that they WANT to buy photos from you. What reason is there to deny them they joy of owning some of your photos? I

    My house has nothing but framed prints of photos – the kind you buy at a museum after seeing an exhibit, with ONE exception. I own one photo that I bought at a gallery exhibition 10 years ago. I bought it because 1-it made me smile and 2 – i was able to afford it.

    Several of your photos have made me smile – like the one of your nephew with the blowtorch and several of the photos of Hil and your dog, My life would be enriched to have one or more of your photos in my home. I am sure many others feel the same way.

    Thank you for touching my life.

  10. Sorry to hear about your declining energy levels, but glad that playing pool is still possible and enjoyable! And Hooray for the return of photo sales. For the record, we weren’t just buying them to help out. We bought them (and will again!) because we love your eye and the art you CREATE. Keep on!

  11. What a zany little kid! That pretty much made my evening. You’ve been a professional photographer for a long time, you were just giving your art away.

  12. I found your blog at the beginning of June… and I looked and looked and searched and searched to find a way to buy some of your prints. You are an incredible photographer and I’m so excited that I can buy some of your prints now!! I want you to know that I think of you and Hill on a daily basis. (I really do!)…

  13. Sandra expressed what I feel far more eloquently than I can ever do. I say that you ARE a photographer, and if that word doesn’t resonate with you, how about these words. You are a person with the capacity to use your talents (dancing, cooking, bicycle design and creation, writing, and photography) to open other people’s hearts and minds and make them care about you and those you love. Your photos, videos, and blogs have moved me to tears, made me laugh, made me remember special times in my life, and stirred me to do more to record the important moments in my life.

    I will be so happy to have one of your photos; my difficulty will be making the choice. I have been looking at your photographs on Flickr for a long time now and some I have viewed many times. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to own something that I will treasure always.

  14. What tyler said.

    Also – a couple Christmases ago I was talking to my friend Jonny who is a Cal Arts alum. He showed me a series of photos he’d taken on a rocky beach in Malibu and they made me think of a photo you’d taken in Nova Scotia, so I showed him. He flipped thru your flickr feed, impressed, and I said, “All his photos are like this! They’re gorgeous. I can’t believe he doesn’t have them framed all over his house. Look – the walls are mostly plain.” I showed him a triptych (tipstick?) you’d just posted. It was you in bed with Putney and a bike frame and the framed Dine paintbrushes over your head – the only thing on the walls. I’d never heard of John Dine before, but Jonny had and he smirked and looked at the triptych and said, “I like this guy.”

    Turns out, those Dine paintbrushes are sacred to many artists. They are a silent shrine to the ancient + enduring tools artists use. They represent the humble and often overlooked heroes of the art world. And your walls were never plain to me again:) So many of your photos that I initially see as simple – beautifully stark – end up deep-freighted in meaning. Not in sentiment, but in Meaning. In Truth. Hard-won Truth.

    In his free time, Jonny works tirelessly to keep art programs in public schools and his impassioned plea usually include this: “Education is more than just reading and writing – it’s how we make sense of the world around us. Art is how we make sense of the world around us.”

    True.

    I make sense of things here. Big things. You almost always present something that surprises me and I generally defer to your wisdom here, but I’m drawing the line at you doubting your artist cred. I cannot abide that shit. Listen up, Ez.
    YOU ARE AN ARTIST.

    We’re all sharpening our debit cards here. It’s not charity. It’s frenzy. Whatever you’re offering. We’ll take it.

  15. I wouldn’t worry about that photographer stuff. I know what you mean, but the way I see it is much simpler. You take some beautiful photos, and I like to look at them. Why wouldn’t I want to buy one?

  16. I’m in. You are an outstanding photographer Ezra. It would be an honour to own a print of one of your images.

  17. Love your fast videos :-)…reminded me of my wife’s vivacious energy. She passed away last year October…Breast cancer. She was 36 then. My reason to live on is my daughter…but sometimes even that feels not enough.

    I have always believed in Life after death (of the body). I feel her around me, she talks to me…we go for long walks…I know she is with me. I have come across this book…”Journey of the soul” by Michael newton. Please read it if you can…

    All I can say is…happy journey. It will be fine.

  18. My appartment is missing a picture of your hand. Your attitude on life is so refreshing, it’s a reminder for myself, you’re a true inspiration. Thanks Ezra!

  19. i talk about you in my yoga classes. i include you and your family in my compassion practices. i would be honored to have one of your prints on these walls.

  20. I’m delighted that we’ll get another chance to buy a print – I was too shy to ask for them again so you’ve solved that. The only difficult part will be choosing which ones…

  21. The photo of you in mid-air leaping into the water naked as Putney runs down the hill is amazing. Kind of a statement reflecting your fearlessness in life and Putney as loyal sidekick.

  22. You made me smile with that confidence/arrogance stuff. Come to think of it, you make me smile everytime I read your writing.

  23. Yes please!! I must own the photo of this kid! Your photos allow the viewer to really connect with an emotion. That’s why they are so delicious. Keep em coming!!

  24. I can’t wait to find out how you curate your photos for sale. I mean it, the suspense is delicious. I know so much of your photographic work through Flickr, and I’ve recently revisited so much of it on the new site, and of the thousands of photos there are countless, entirely distinct, possibilities to pick “the best” several dozen.

    Your urge to create, of which you write poignantly despite falling asleep as you’re writing, is perhaps the most inspiring, irresistible of the many such qualities you possess.

    Hugs from Warszawa!

  25. Okay I DESPERATELY want to buy the one of Arcangelo sitting in a chair with a basket on his head & his hands in his lap & his cute little feet crossed!!! If u take special requests, I would love it in black & white. I bought 1 today from your first set & want to do a horizontal display of all the ones I buy on a particular wall in my home. Thank you so much for taking the time to curate, print & ship photos for us!!!

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