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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Old 12-26-2011   #41
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I agree that kickstarter and indiegogo are great ways to pick up work at good prices. its something I will do but unfortunately its a bit harder from the UK.
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Old 12-26-2011   #42
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I find this interesting and it shines a light onto the world of buying and selling 'art'. I can't imagine that I'd shell out £250+ on a photo that I'd not chosen myself. It says more about the commercial imperative behind buying and selling art works than of taste or personal preference. Still, looking at the top of the page, I suppose this is the appropriate thread.
I don't think this really shines a light on the commercial imperative behind buying and selling art. Firstly, prints bought through kickstarter probably aren't much of an investment. If they even are editioned it must be quite a high number. I reckon you'd be hard pressed to resell such a print at the price you bought it for but that's not really what it's about anyways. You pledge the money because you want to support a project and as a reward you get a print. If the print was worth (on the market) as much as you pledge then the photographer would be better off financing his project through gallery sales.

Paying money for an image that does not exist yet is a common practice. Any magazine or newspaper editor who gives an assignment to a photographer does exactly that. Most times it turns out well, sometimes it doesn't.
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Old 12-26-2011   #43
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I agree that kickstarter and indiegogo are great ways to pick up work at good prices. its something I will do but unfortunately its a bit harder from the UK.
There is always this to fall back on ... http://www.ssplprints.com/index.php

... mostly older stuff but it cuts out the gallery, good prices and helps to support the museum ... obviously the only value they have is the image itself so they're not art ...
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Old 12-26-2011   #44
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Hello Jamie123.

I agree with you that editors and such commission work. I'm unfamiliar with Kickstarter, but did look it up. It seems to be a place for 'Angels' to support up & comers, all very admirable, and if you get to choose the photograph you're buying, even better. My main thrustc was intended to relate to folk paying £250+ for a Bruce Gilden photo - a chap who doesn't really need our support - sight unseen. An investment? Maybe.
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Old 12-26-2011   #45
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Income, income, income... that is the main problem for me.
I have some special and very valuable prints belongs to other photographers. Also 5 of them belongs to year 1981 which is my birth year. The total values of them are much more then my 10 years income. I am so lucky that they gave as a gift to me. Also i have not sold any of my print ever but i gave approximately 250 of my prints to lots of people without any charge. I love to give them. Lots of mine friend hang at least one of my print to their walls and i feel very happy when i saw them.
In short, i believe in KARMA.
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Old 12-26-2011   #46
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Hello Jamie123.

I agree with you that editors and such commission work. I'm unfamiliar with Kickstarter, but did look it up. It seems to be a place for 'Angels' to support up & comers, all very admirable, and if you get to choose the photograph you're buying, even better. My main thrustc was intended to relate to folk paying £250+ for a Bruce Gilden photo - a chap who doesn't really need our support - sight unseen. An investment? Maybe.
Kickstarter and similar pages are not just for up and comers. Bruce Gilden's project was on that site. It's intended to be an alternative way of funding, not charity. I suppose the idea behind it is now that traditional media are no longer funding such projects the content creators are approaching the target audience directly.
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Old 12-26-2011   #47
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I have bought photos in the past and some of them hang on my wall. However, I haven't paid more than 100USD for any of them. I would not pay more than about 300USD for any photograph and I would almost certainly not buy a limited edition print...the idea of artificially inflating prices is abhorrent to me.

I very much prefer print exchanges and I have acquired some beautiful photographs this way.
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Old 12-26-2011   #48
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I've bought a lot of photo books, but never a print...I guess for the same reason I don't order meatloaf in a restaurant...I can make it myself. Besides, the likelihood is that the one image on my walls that I didn't make would get more comments and fame than all the rest of my rubbish and it would drive me nuts.
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Old 12-26-2011   #49
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Besides, the likelihood is that the one image on my walls that I didn't make would get more comments and fame than all the rest of my rubbish and it would drive me nuts.
haha. That, and then my taste exceeds my budget.
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Old 12-26-2011   #50
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We have two polaroid-on-gold prints from Patty Mulligan. I love her work.

My xmas present from the wife was permission to buy this Stanley Kubrick print, which is now framed and more awesome than awesome.

As to the rest of the stuff on the walls, most are watercolor paintings from my wife, photos of the kids by me, old family photos, and one photo of mine that isn't a sentimental shot, but a shot because I quite like it.
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Old 12-26-2011   #51
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I don't think not looking at other photographers' work carries the risk of producing 'coincidentally derivative' work. It can only be derivative if it was derived from something and you cannot derive your work from something you do not know. Coincidentally similar work? Maybe. But if we're talking single images then every image is similar to some other in some regards. If we're talking a whole body of work then that would have to be a big coincidence.
I think you have to spend $100K on a good photo grad school to really make derivative photos ;-p
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Old 12-26-2011   #52
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Ha, yes.

As someone else alluded to earlier, by 'coincidentally derivative' I meant that others might consider your work derivative as a consequence of you unwittingly producing work that just happens to look like someone else's. By knowing what is out there, in detail, you can avoid ending up squarely in someone else's shadow. Basically parallel evolution.

Alternatively you can choose not to be bothered when your work ends up looking similar to someone else's. After all, its a big world and there are a lot of photographers out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Version Two View Post
I think you have to spend $100K on a good photo grad school to really make derivative photos ;-p
@ Menos, while I get this:

"I do have rotations of my own prints on walls or leaning against things, as I try, how they work. Having a print on display, being able, to see it is an important part of the creation of a photograph for me." Yes, absolutely!

... but I don't understand this:

"I actually try to prevent influence from other photographers on me - a short glance on the internet is fine, although, I try to limit this..."

Why is seeing other people's work a bad influence on you?
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Old 12-26-2011   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle View Post
Ha, yes.

As someone else alluded to earlier, by 'coincidentally derivative' I meant that others might consider your work derivative as a consequence of you unwittingly producing work that just happens to look like someone else's. By knowing what is out there, in detail, you can avoid ending up squarely in someone else's shadow. Basically parallel evolution.

Alternatively you can choose not to be bothered when your work ends up looking similar to someone else's. After all, its a big world and there are a lot of photographers out there.
That's why, I tell myself, it's best, to shut all doors and window blinds and try not to be influenced by longer looks at other peoples art.
That could be all pretentious, but I guess, it works best, to prevent one from straight unconscious copy work, which would be terrible. Arriving at a similar or accidentally same style, theme or look, as another photographer is absolutely fine, as long, as it's not the conscious or unconscious copy work.

There are of course interpretational works, as in music, but I have momentarily no interest in such.

There are moments, when one seems stuck and browsing other peoples artworks can be helpful for a hint or an idea, but one should not watch too long or too deep, which is why I wouldn't hang other stuff.

There is the thinking of "How self shoulder tapping of you, hanging your own prints!", but hanging one's own prints is not necessarily a look, what I did thing, but more a part of the work process with a picture!

Does it work that way?
How is the format?
Is this print the right size, igniting a viewers brain, to what I would want?
How is the print technically? Do I/ others see room for improvement after watching longer?
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Old 12-26-2011   #54
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I own a couple photographs by other photographers. I don't have any of my own pictures hanging on the walls, but those of other photographers whose work I really like... and can afford (once in a blue moon). The two pieces I have are Platinum/Palladium LF contact prints. My own work hangs in the houses of others, usually past exhibition stuff or prints ordered directly.
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Old 12-26-2011   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menos View Post
...
That could be all pretentious, but I guess, it works best, to prevent one from straight unconscious copy work, which would be terrible. Arriving at a similar or accidentally same style, theme or look, as another photographer is absolutely fine, as long, as it's not the conscious or unconscious copy work.
...
The fear of "conscious or unconscious copy work" is a bizarre pretension as it deliberately rejects inspiration that another's work may provoke.
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Old 12-26-2011   #56
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I do actually but usually in the form of book like ?Milton Keynes" by our Vicky or that nice calendar
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...hreadid=113835
Might buy a print for the wall if i saw something that blew me away and I could afford it"
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Old 12-26-2011   #57
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The photos I've usually purchased have been of the vintage variety, and right now I have a 1940's vintage Marion Warren print on the wall, as well as a 1930's vintage George Hurrell, and another lovely portrait from the 1930's by a NY photographer whose name I can't make out. I only have one small print of mine on a wall in the kitchen, and a few taped onto the side of the fridge. All the rest on the walls are paintings, a few Dutch tiles, and a couple of clocks.
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Old 12-26-2011   #58
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I can't Imagine Living Without my library of Photography Books
There are/were so Many Talented Photographers
from the early 1900's to present Day
I feast on Viewing their Works....

I have One trade up on my Walls
And a B-day present from one of my FAV japanese photographers Junku Nishimura

Have Sold two prints .... And will probably BUY a few when the Time is right

Owning Books & Prints does Not Stfle my Vision..,,
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Old 12-26-2011   #59
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I don't by prints simply because photographs normally don't go well with the decor of my home. The majority of photos that I like wouldn't be suitable to hang in my house. The only photos on display are portraits of family and friends.

Like a few others, I prefer photography books. My B.A.S. easily exceeds my G.A.S. and storing books is a constant problem for me.
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Old 12-26-2011   #60
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I don't hang my own...seems strange. However, if I see a friends photo that I really like, I will buy one. I don't buy well known photographer's work because it's too expensive. I'm more of a book guy.
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Old 12-26-2011   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i'm making the assumption that most of us do not buy prints of another shooters work...preferring to hang our own only.
Hi Joe, since you started the discussion I'm wondering if you buy people's photography you don't mention in your OP.
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Old 12-26-2011   #62
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The fear of "conscious or unconscious copy work" is a bizarre pretension as it deliberately rejects inspiration that another's work may provoke.
How could that be bizarre?
In music, one hears that from time to time as well - musicians quoted as trying not to be influenced by other music.

I find it quite interesting, to make a development as much, as possible on my own, having changed photographic interests a lot over the past few years.

I don't claim, sitting in a eggshell, as it would be impossible, to manage, not to be influenced at all, but I try to reduce the influence by not being exposed to other peoples work, if I can prevent this (not collecting photo books, not hanging prints, not visiting galleries, etc …).

I don't see this as bizarre.
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Old 12-26-2011   #63
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I raised my prices a while back and still make (fewer but more profitable) sales while protecting the value of my images in the future. If you bought a print from me in the past then it appreciated! ;-p

I found it better to simply give prints away if it's a worthy cause rather than undervaluing your work and screwing over buyers, galleries, and yourself later on. I'm all for democratizing art but jeez, when you can buy a nice 11x14 for $50 it really means the image is worthless.

Same with jobs. It is better to shoot a job for free rather than lower your rates to peanuts. No matter how cheap you make it, it will always be too expensive to the client and it could haunt you when you want to charge their friend full-rate. If you're doing something on the cheap you still have obligations - whereas if you're giving it away then you have some leverage and leeway.

Trading can be very awkward when you discover you don't care for the other person's work. Hard to decline... I just threw some traded prints out last week, I didn't like them and want to have to care for them for years and have my heirs ask, "WTF is this?"
Yes. All perfectly true.
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Old 12-26-2011   #64
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Originally Posted by jan normandale View Post
Hi Joe, since you started the discussion I'm wondering if you buy people's photography you don't mention in your OP.
i only recently started to hang my own images, framed on the wall. it seemed strange at first to hang photos as i was more used to hanging 'things' on the wall...but i now like it and am amazed at the reaction from friends who knew i did photography but never saw any of my stuff.

i would love to buy and hang some classic images but that isn't likely...too $$
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Old 12-27-2011   #65
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i only recently started to hang my own images, framed on the wall. it seemed strange at first to hang photos as i was more used to hanging 'things' on the wall...but i now like it and am amazed at the reaction from friends who knew i did photography but never saw any of my stuff.

i would love to buy and hang some classic images but that isn't likely...too $$
Join in the one of the print swaps Joe, they may not be classic but I have two that look good on my walls
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Old 12-27-2011   #66
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Sorry, I find your point of view bizarre. No one escapes outside influence by attempting to avoid it. Being closed-minded only limits one's vision be it visual, musical, or literary.




Quote:
Originally Posted by menos View Post
How could that be bizarre?
In music, one hears that from time to time as well - musicians quoted as trying not to be influenced by other music.

I find it quite interesting, to make a development as much, as possible on my own, having changed photographic interests a lot over the past few years.

I don't claim, sitting in a eggshell, as it would be impossible, to manage, not to be influenced at all, but I try to reduce the influence by not being exposed to other peoples work, if I can prevent this (not collecting photo books, not hanging prints, not visiting galleries, etc …).

I don't see this as bizarre.
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Old 12-27-2011   #67
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Avoiding other people's work just seems to me like a way of saying that what you are doing is way more important (or so much better) than what others are doing.
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Old 12-27-2011   #68
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i'm making the assumption that most of us do not buy prints of another shooters work...preferring to hang our own only.
Because I am broke.
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Old 12-27-2011   #69
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Originally Posted by menos View Post
How could that be bizarre?
In music, one hears that from time to time as well - musicians quoted as trying not to be influenced by other music.

I find it quite interesting, to make a development as much, as possible on my own, having changed photographic interests a lot over the past few years.

I don't claim, sitting in a eggshell, as it would be impossible, to manage, not to be influenced at all, but I try to reduce the influence by not being exposed to other peoples work, if I can prevent this (not collecting photo books, not hanging prints, not visiting galleries, etc …).

I don't see this as bizarre.
Maybe not bizarre, but it's unusual.

I *love* seeing other people's work, because it gives me ideas, raised my standard, and sometimes it allows me a glimpse of how creative mind works.
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Old 12-27-2011   #70
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Old 12-27-2011   #71
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good topic.

I think that photographers should gift and trade their photos with other photographers—likewise with photo books (my preferred method of presentation). It's kind of like a 'professional courtesy' (even though a lot of us aren't 'professionals'). I've traded photo books with other photographers; it's a lot of fun, and the books go into my collection right next to the masters.



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Old 12-27-2011   #72
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Quote:
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Sorry, I find your point of view bizarre. No one escapes outside influence by attempting to avoid it. Being closed-minded only limits one's vision be it visual, musical, or literary.
Slowly there!
I never stated, I prevent influences, I described, how I avoid to have hanging artworks or books make a deep impression on my own style.

This is in no way narrow minded, quite contrary is my character and I would feel offended, being called such.

Quote:
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Avoiding other people's work just seems to me like a way of saying that what you are doing is way more important (or so much better) than what others are doing.
Please read my above comment - I think, there is quite a misunderstanding, don't you think?
Why do you throw in valuation of ones own work against others? This is completely far fetched (and obviously untrue), while, as described, I do am influenced by others.

Otherwise, what do I do on the internet or even leaving house in the morning, discussing photography and sharing pictures with others?

If you see my flickr profile, you will also find, that I do have many favorites from other photographers, that I like or tagged as such, as a reminder.

I too have a small collection of snippets on my computer, that work as work notes or reminders on certain looks (mostly in technical aspects).

What I did state has been entirely related to "hanging prints of other photographers in my home" - what this thread has been about to my understanding.
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Old 12-27-2011   #73
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To each his or her own. I am surrounded by photobooks and prints by other photographers. In no way am I worried that my environment will influence my photography; for better or worse, my pictures are my own. Here is a photograph that reminds me of one made by Saul Leiter, but I had never heard of Leiter when I took the picture, thus his influence is after the fact!

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Old 12-27-2011   #74
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i'm making the assumption that most of us do not buy prints of another shooters work...preferring to hang our own only.
never thought of buying another shooters work, i enjoy viewing others work, therefore the disease of purchasing books.
....but have sold 4 prints of my work, only because of connections within my circle of friends.
as one buyer has gallery connections he has 6x4's to show around to put some of my work up, which is more "arty" rather than "pure photographs"...we'll see what happens in the new year.
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Old 12-28-2011   #75
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I buy others photographs when I like the photo, but know I cannot produce something similar for whatever reason:

I bought a photo of a panaroma of Stockholm. I don't own a panaoramic camera, nor would I bring one traveling if I did.

I bought a photo of a single guy walking on Charles Bridge in Prague at dusk in the winter. I was in Prague in the summer, and finding it empty must take patience.
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Old 12-28-2011   #76
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Quote:
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i'm making the assumption that most of us do not buy prints of another shooters work...preferring to hang our own only.
If I have the money I buy what I like. I have a fair number of prints that I have picked up over the years.

Perhaps this query should have been a poll?
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Old 12-28-2011   #77
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i'm enjoying the conversation and find it enlightening...can't find that in a poll.

what is most interesting to me is that so much influence is attributed to money. i am poor for the most part but did not consider the financial aspects as much as i thought it would be ego driven.
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Old 12-28-2011   #78
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I do though, Joe, sometimes when I really like something. Lots of books, too.

Interesting in this thread that some posters with thousands of dollars in vintage camera equipment feel they cann't afford another persons print.

A question of emotional value I guess.

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Old 12-28-2011   #79
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Why ego driven?


Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i'm enjoying the conversation and find it enlightening...can't find that in a poll.

what is most interesting to me is that so much influence is attributed to money. i am poor for the most part but did not consider the financial aspects as much as i thought it would be ego driven.
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Old 12-28-2011   #80
back alley
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Location: true north strong & free
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdmcclintock View Post
Why ego driven?
to be completely honest...

if i were to choose between anothers print and one of my own (for the limited wall space that i have) my ego would go with my image.
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