Photography And The Artist's Journey
I enjoy all kinds of photography, but I’m particularly interested in images that explore the following:
Your Photos Teach You How To See
To see we need to go beyond surface appearances and the recognizable so as to discover new options, possibilities or realities that lead to a deeper level of understanding beyond our normal, everyday experience.
It's that magical place between the known and the unknown, between fact and magic.
It's the world akin to that of the alchemist and it’s a most wonderful place in which you and, by extension, your images can reside.
The Search For Style In Photography | Is It Over Rated?
My own view on style is that I wouldn’t be overly considered with any need to search for it. It’s become a bit of a crusade for some folks. But it’s not the Holy Grail.
I’d say it’s largely a distraction, which is why you see folks buying presets in the hope that their photos will look like those made by another photographer, probably with a degree of celebrity in the industry.
While a preset can make sense, from a workflow point of view and also to achieve a certain look or feel in your images, $9:95 will not make your photos the same as someone else’s.
You’d be much better off cultivating your own creativity, rather than trying to copy someone else’s.
But don’t worry your own photographic style will emerge, over time and, as so much of what people refer to as style is concerned with how your images look, I believe it’s a secondary concern to your identity as an artist.
Stylistic concerns relate to surface impressions and to how it is that you produce the work you do.
What I’m more interested in is the true, unique and authentic nature of the artist.
Self Discovery Is At The Heart Of The Photos You Make
Ultimately the artist’s journey is a search for identity.
Your own nature will emerge through a critical (and I don’t mean negative) examination of the photos you make. The three critical questions you need to ask yourself are as follows:
What do you love to photograph?
Why do you love to make those photos?
What is there about How you make those photos that sets you apart?
Please take the time to separate your very best photos from the rest. Take a closer look at the best of the best and, with an open mind, listen to what they have to say.
Your photos will tell you what you're about and, ultimately, who you are.
Now that you know what you’re about and what it is you need to photograph to satisfy your hearts desire, you need a plan to make it a reality.
Is it time you got the basics sorted? Are you comfortable with your camera and, if appropriate, post processing. If not then you need to take some action quickly, before your motivation disappears.
It’s amazing what a little structure and expert guidance can do to set you on the creative path. You know the one you really want to be on.
Separation and Connection Are Partners In Creativity
After you’re on the creative path it’s simply a matter of making more photos, more often.
To stay focused on what you do best it’s important to continually separate yourself from your least successful work and keep concentrating on your very best photos.
Let your images speak to you. They will tell you what you’re good at and what you need to improve to progress as a photographer and as an artist.
Your Creative Life And the Photos you Make
By all means have fun making snaps and practice composition with your mobile phone but, when it comes to serious photography, it might now be time for a more structured approach.
Start to plan photo walks and local adventures not so much around the destination, but around the type of photos you want to make.
Edit those photos down to your very best images and begin to sequence them into harmonious collections for exhibiting, showcasing and sharing with the world in a variety of ways.
Perhaps you don’t see yourself exhibiting or making photo books. A website gallery or social media is a totally legitimate way to share your work and to cultivate an audience.
But, if you’re going to do it, I’d advice you to do it well.
Having a more strategic approach with what you post online, and the order in which you do so, is a good start. Try organizing the images you post so that they present a more cohesive stream of photos.
This is very important to the brand you build. And all artists, commercial or otherwise, should think seriously about the brand they create. After all, your brand is central to your identity as a creative soul.
Make Space For A More Creative Life
It’s taken me many years to establish processes and workflows that enable me to progress along the creative path.
I’m able and happy to share that knowledge with you so as to save you the time and trouble of working it out for yourself.
I’m a very experienced photographer and teacher of photography and I’d be happy to help you out on your own, individual creative journey.
I’m currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Feel free to contact me to see how I can best help you.