I just had another “aha” moment yesterday while reading this great blog article written by Nick Palliser, one of Fujifilm’s official X Photographers. In this blog post, Nick was discussing the progress of one of his personal projects. There was this one paragraph that really spoke to me:
The editing of any large project is probably harder than the photography. After only several months of shooting I have a deep respect for W. Eugene Smith and his tribulations. How to edit down the mass of images, all remembered, all personal to a degree, all vying for attention and acceptance. No easy answer. Personally I favour a simple approach. I do a first edit (all using Lightroom), then consult several trusted non photographers, after all they are the ones I am most aiming to view, question and enjoy my work. Then I consult a master photographer or two (established industry professionals, in this case also with an MA in photography and well exhibited nationally), and finally, I filter all they have said and take which is useful/I agree with and forget the rest and choose my edit 🙂 Live by the sword and die by the sword, well it is my project.
Who are we making photos for anyway? Recently, I’ve caught myself approaching photography a little bit backwards. First and foremost, I would always make photos for my Clients on paid jobs, so that will never change. For everything else, I seemed to try to make photos that would garner the approvals of my peers in the photography world, and ultimately get noticed by the masters in the photography world. And yes, a lot of my photos have gotten that approval. I need to make photos for the NON-photographers. That’s why I got into photography in the first place.
Looking back to what drove me to love photography, was me being able to see something, capture it, and express how I want people to view it. Over time, I had to make sure it was “technically” a great photo, sometimes losing the artistry of the original scene that I wanted to capture. I was so driven by the photography principles that my heroes preached, that I often started to look for that technicality before shooting. Often times this resulted in me not making any photos.
I’m going to use this aha moment as a wake up call, along with the feedback I have been getting on a recent photo that I have posted online (see below). My non-photographer friends seem to love it. I’m getting such great comments and messages about it. In the past, I would never have made this photo, let alone share it because it is technically wrong.
I’m going back to my roots in photography. I’m going to make photos again that capture things and stories that I want to tell and express. I’m going to carry my Fuji X-T1 everywhere with me to capture stories.
Moral of the story: Photography rules are meant to be broken and make photos of moments YOU want to capture.