Noticing – July 11, 2012 (Finding my voice)
I’ve been thinking lately about how we photographers never get past making the standards. The flowing stream with the soft blurry water, the pretty girl in a field of wildflowers (with lens flair), or today’s image: the mannequin through a shop window. They’re good tunes, old standards, but not quite my own. Sometimes I make a picture because it fits a mold, it’s hard to pass up.
I think this is a good thing, at least at the start, otherwise you become the arteest who refuses, right from the beginning, to speak in visual conventions and winds up never making accessible images. (Not that all images should be easy to read, but they shouldn’t be completely obtuse either.)
This is absolutely my struggle, looking at my own images and seeing the patterns made by others. Great photographers who do fantastic work, but but it’s their work, not mine. I don’t want to be satisfied replicating, even if it’s replicating beautiful things.
This has been the point of Noticing, I’ve found the best way to learn to say my own things is to say things often. You find your voice through speaking.
I think my nature and noticing pictures are my own, I really feel that I’m expressing my own ideas. The same is not always true for my portraits, though. For some it is, like Red, but for others I’m still following protocols. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, certainly it isn’t for standard new employee headshots; I’ve got a job to do there and I’m happy to do it.
But there’s certainly room to grow. There always is, but it’s more than just room to improve. I want that, but I also want more of my voice in my portraits. Found through speaking, I guess, time to get to work.