I have discovered a disturbing truth about myself: I am Lady Gaga. Not that I recall having ever worn clothing made out of flank steak, or emerging any time recently from a giant egg. I do not sing especially well (although I’ve serenaded the cat on occasion), and I’ve been known to just dance, but usually not in a football arena. I do not wear Alexander McQueen 10-inch heels, and rarely wear sunglasses that look like anything other than sunglasses. Hair extensions are fairly pointless, given that my hairline long ago receded to somewhere near Pittsburgh.

No, I am Gaga in the sense that I appear to have made Look At Me a centrally definitional focus of my life. I mean, just look at what You and I are doing right now. The  mere act of writing a blog (any blog, not just one dedicated specifically to self-promotional excess) is an act of monumental Vanity in itself, since it assumes not only that anyone is interested in what I have to say, but that I should carve out space on the World Wide Web as my own personal soapbox from which to self-importantly declaim my narcissism. In this case,  just because I’m painfully self-aware that this is perhaps my most flagrantly narcissistic post, quite likely an utterly unprecedented wallow in prideful superciliousness (which phrase is probably redundant, but appropriate given the admittedly monumental egotism on display at the moment) apparently doesn’t stop me from doing it, since here we are. I was born this way, baby. I won’t even mention that I’m forever narrating my life on Facebook, albeit in a slight less wordy way. (I don’t Tweet, probably because the mere thought of limiting my verbosity to 140 characters makes my Teeth hurt.)

(Still, it’s important to note that I’m not alone in this Fame-mongering, since I see there are at least several other blogs posted by people whose views and opinions, while certainly valid and constructive and creative and literately-expressed, might not necessarily be top-of-mind to most of the world. I suspect that most of us People Who Blog fall into that category, and especially those PWBs who, like, me, take advantage of the form to offer not just our written observations but rather those observations buttressed by samples of our chosen expressive art form. So our message is not only Listen To Me, but also Look At My Pictures and Aren’t I Great?)

There is, actually, some relevance to this musing and self-contemplation: All this was spawned when I recently sold a photo to Backpacker Magazine. At about the same time, I received the catalog from an exhibition in Serbia where one of my photos is on display. Those two events sent me scurrying, for utterly selfish, self-promoting, and self-centeredly braggish reasons, to gather up similar events that I could show off. And now here I am, posting them all on the web with a singularly shameless and embarrassing message: Look At Me. (Oh, and speaking of that, you may have noticed that these paragraphs are sprinkled with exactly seven direct and two cleverly allusional references to the Lady Gaga oeuvre, because I also have to show off that I have a respectable level of pop-cultural awareness. My Look-At-Me-ness knows virtually no limits.)

Probably it’s best if I say as little as possible,  and just do the thing I’m here to do: post the examples of when, where, and how often I’ve sold images or been asked to contribute images or been invited to display images in the relatively short time I’ve been seriously pursuing photography as a significant avocation.  The whole exercise is a house of cards, of course, since few of these are really particularly high-profile, and all of my sales, even when added together, would fall short of a car payment. Still, they represent the sort of positive reinforcement that keeps me plugging along in the hope that someday, when I’m done with the job that pays the bills, I’ll still have something to occupy my time that will help in some small way to avoid utter destitution and starvation.

So let us proceed, then, with neither further ado nor additional excuse-making, full of fascination and excitement, to a little Catalog Of My Photographic Accomplishments.

If I need to find some justification other than pure self-puffery, it’s this: There are lots of publications, websites, exhibitions, and events out there hungry for good photos that a photographer is willing to share either free (in exchange for glory and fame) or for a modest honorarium (I am both easy and cheap). Make your work visible and accessible, engage in a little modest marketing and shameless self-promotion, and if somebody like me can get a little exposure, then just imagine what someone like you could do; you’ll be famous! So enjoy the blatant show-offery below (it’s not exhaustive, but it’s possibly exhausting) and, obviously, praise me…

“Autumn Path” in Backpacker Magazine, June 2012.

“25” featured in Metamorphose Magazine, January 2011

“Adonis (Detail)” featured as a cover image on a Portuguese translation of Colleen McCullough’s novel, Tim (2009, Biblioteca Sábado)

“Frosted Canyon I” used in promotional materials for the British Geographical Society’s “Hidden Journeys” project http://www.hiddenjourneys.co.uk/

“Hard Agrocybe” in the online version of a digital and print catalog of photos included in the VIII Annual International Photography Exhibition: Fungi Kingdom, part of the 2012 European Day of Parks, Sremska Kamenica, Serbia http://www.naturefg.com/pages/h-exhibition/fungikingdom/fungi-home.html

“Blanding’s Turtle” featured in the Wildlife section of the website for the West Central Indiana Watershed Alliance http://www.busseron.org/BCWP-PTC_Blanding.htm

“Red Milkweed Beetle 045A” was included in the VI Annual International Photography Exhibition: Beetles and Weevils, part of the 2010 European Day of Parks, Sremska Kamenica, Serbia http://www.naturefg.com/pages/h-exhibition/beetles-home.html