Are you Letting your Camera Speak for You?
You found a passion for photography. On a regular day, you’re seeing light and shadow in the form of what would make a beautiful photo. On occasion while shooting, you lose touch with time and space, you become fully present in a state of creative flow. Sometimes you create a photo that hits the sweet spot for you and you feel amazing. Maybe you’re far enough along with your work that you have a collection of images, but something is missing.
The problem today is that while we’re learning our cameras and tech, getting distracted by social media, smartphones, smart watches etc…we’re developing a body of work that lacks a voice. I see it time and time again; someone is super skilled at lighting and understanding the tech but their work lacks personality. In other words, the photography becomes shallow at best.
When you’re gone, is your photography going to have any value to those in your life that matter most or is it going to simply be a series of pictures?
Most anyone with a smartphone can take a technically perfect photo: The image will be well exposed, it will be in focus and the color is well saturated, but often, we don’t consider the photos “good” because the images simply don’t speak to us. It's just a clear, well-exposed photo of their food or their car or something else that no one cares about and yet the internet is flooded with these types of images.
Your goal as a serious photographer should be to make photos that matter, photos that say something and when looked at in a series, a powerful portfolio that commands attention.
Technology in cameras today is so complex that it may take you a decade to fully understand the myriad of tools buried within the UI. It’s only human to get distracted by the features of your tools but doing so, you run the risk of becoming a skilled technician vs becoming a skilled artist. There’s a big difference between a technician and an artist. The technician knows what buttons to push to achieve an effect. The artist has a vision and their work says something. While both art and craft overlap some, the artists' work will stand the test of time because it says something. The technicians' work becomes dated as time moves on because it’s based on the tool of the moment.
What you need to do
Creating photography that has impact takes more than good lighting and post-production. What is needed to make your work special is developing your artistic identity, vision and a portfolio based on both. When you have such a body of work, viewers will be able to understand what you do clearly and more so be able to communicate what they see to others. Viewers will become fans and those fans will know how to promote your work organically because your vision is clear. Finding your vision is the cornerstone of your personal self-expression.
I’ve been busy reinventing my class, Finding the Photographers Vision, into an online workshop. The class that I taught around the country is going to be launching soon as a private, small group coaching format which will have a very limited set of spots. If you want to get more info on the coaching class visit this page and give me your email addy at the bottom. I’ll keep you up to date as the class gets closer to launch.