An alternate version
I like to illustrate my posts on this blog. I don't always do it, but I like to when I can. Sometimes I produce images I want to share, but I don't really have anything to say about them - because the picture speaks for itself. And other times, I'll find a topic I want to discuss, but I won't have any relevant pictures to use as illustration. It happens. But I like it when I've got something to say, and I have a picture (or pictures) to help illustrate my point. Sometimes it'll be the case that I'll start writing, and I'll think of a picture I'd taken earlier that fits the theme of my post. And other times I'll look at a picture I've taken, and it will get me thinking about a topic I want to discuss. As a photographer, I've found that spontaneity can sometimes be lucrative (and other times not), but some of my favorite photo shoots are ones where I start out with a concept - an idea I want to illustrate in a photo. It can be frustrating when you're not getting the results you want, but there's nothing like the thrill of creating a beautiful picture that also expresses an idea that's important to you.
In any case, I started out writing Government in the Bedroom as an offshoot of some of the themes I'd been thinking about while writing other posts (as sometimes happens). But I had several posts queued, and I don't like to post more than once a day (because I don't post often enough to warrant it, and it's easier to archive that way, plus it keeps my blog active over longer stretches of time, instead of having a dozen posts over the course of a couple days, and then a month or two of silence), so I postponed publishing it for a few days. And when its time came, I thought to myself, you know, this post would really benefit from an illustration - a bedroom scene with a government agent standing off to the side. A picture like that - it could be sexy, funny, and thought-provoking (and maybe a little scary), and it would serve the topic of the post perfectly! So, I set out to produce just such an image, and got it done - from conception to completion! - in a few hours time.
I shot the bedroom clones first, and they came out looking really good (I've got "bedroom scenes" down pat, lol :p), which gave me confidence that I could produce an image I'd be happy with. But then I had a lot of difficulty with the "government agent". Cliché or not - honestly, clichés can be helpful, when used as a visual tool to tell your audience what you want them to see - I figured I could model a government agent by wearing a suit with dark glasses. Only problem is, I don't wear suits and ties, I wear dresses and tiaras. I didn't even have the right kind of sunglasses - I had to dig out the 3D glasses I saved from a movie showing (for just these sorts of occasions). So I tried to model the "dark jacket over white shirt" look, but I just wasn't getting the proper feel of "men's formal wear". Then I remembered I actually had a couple of suits in the back of my closet that I got as hand-me-downs. I liked the darker of the two better for the government agent, but the lighter one looked better against the dark background of the image, so I chose that one. It didn't fit me perfectly, and I don't own a tie to save my life, so with the 3D glasses, the resulting impression is probably a lot goofier than what I intended.
But it's the best I could do with what I had, and I think I managed pretty well, all things considered. Still, I've learned recently that people aren't going to stop to consider your limitations. They only care about the finished result. And they're going to compare it to the finished results of others who haven't had to work under your limitations. The only thing that matters is whether it's any good. So if you have limitations (and I've got my share), you can't let them hold you back, or use them as an excuse not to work harder. You can still be as good as anyone else, even if you have to work twice as hard. And if you do succeed, people will be impressed by how much harder you had to work. But nobody is going to pat you on the back just for trying, and they're not going to give you a free pass, either, just because you're at a disadvantage. It's a hard lesson, but I'm trying to incorporate it into my work ethic from here on out. It'll either destroy me, or make me a better artist. But I guess that's what it takes if you want to be serious.