HE & SHE PHOTO TALK VISION: CUT THE CRAP.
Blog contributors He & She talk vision and bringing something new to the photo kitchen (like brownies) the next time you cook up a photo session!
As a photographer,
you have a choice to take or make. You can take
pictures, or you can make pictures. Taking pictures
consists of putting pretty people in pretty locations and getting
pretty pictures. Making pictures consists of utilizing the
strengths of the location and the strengths of the subject(s) to make
a powerful image, either compositionally or emotionally.
People who make
pictures, prove that unique ideas exist. They use light, composition,
design and the surroundings to create a recipe. No location is the
same, and no subject is the same, and therefore neither should be
treated as such. Making a picture is like cooking from
scratch. It’s creative, unique, and exciting (because sometimes you
don’t know what you’ll get!) Taking a picture is like
cooking from a box. The results are predictable and ordinary. Sure it
tastes good, but is it really satisfying?
When you make
brownies, you don’t buy the ingredients for meatloaf. You know what
you want to make, so you gather the right ingredients. You use
the right elements to create your idea. Thus, photography and
brownies are like second cousins. You have to make a recipe
(or idea) to end up with something tasty. Do you take
thousands of sporadic pictures, hoping that one will turn out right?
If you start with a clear idea, you’ll end up with a stronger image
(and you’ll save your trigger finger the extra work!).
It’s key to have
a vision of what you want before you look through the viewfinder.
Making pictures takes time and patience. It’s okay to stop
and figure it out, or pause and wait for the right moment. It’s
equally vital to cut the crap! What do you want in the frame, and
what don’t you want? Do you want that ugly green car in the
background? Then why leave it there? Adjust your angle, rearrange the
scene, or move on.
Awesome ideas often
suffer from lack of attention to detail. Once you come up with an
idea, simplify and clarify. Sometimes it’s the simplest adjustments
that can push an image from being “good” to “great!” When
someone sees your photograph, they should say, “Oh snap! That’s
rad!” Who wants photographs that say, “Yo, I’m mediocre?”
So where do you
look for inspiration? Do you blog-stalk other wedding photographers,
or do you look to other art forms? It’s perfectly okay (and
strongly encouraged) to look outside of whatever industry you’re in
to bring new ideas to the table.
Reach outside your bubble.
As you start to figure out your style, your work will
become much more gratifying! Continue to push yourself forward in new
ways. Otherwise, before you know it, your photographs will become as
stale as last week’s meatloaf.