I received a really interesting enquiry yesterday and to be fair – that’s exactly what’s motivated me to take a look at my goals for 2017. I can’t write this post without giving credit where credit is due so a big shout out to Chris and Kirsten aka Mac & Krusty.
One thing that creatives hate is stagnation. The lack of ideas or motivation to do something new and interesting, something that will make you, as an artist, push the envelope so that later, when you look at your work, you can genuinely say “holy crap, I rock”. Now it might be easy to say that creatives create by definition and there is no place for stagnation in their work. I mean as a photographer I get to photograph all different people. They get married in different venues, they have different facial features and there’s different dynamics between them. Does it really guarantee that the photos will be different and interesting every time I go to a wedding?
The background will change. The faces will change. That’s about it. Photography has a really nasty way of creating that cookie cutter mindset that all of us should avoid by all means, so here’s one of the aims that I’m setting for myself this year:
1. I won’t push people into frames I’ve already seen or had in my mind. That’s how the pictures lose their magic. I’ll explore instead.
I believe that photography is all about the process of exploration in first place. Getting to know your subjects, understanding their drivers and personalities. Then when I am ready – capturing all those wonderful, unique, subtle things (I can’t even find a word to name them), that make them who they are. Catching their quirks. Capturing that smile. Freezing that moment when he pulls her closer and looks into her eyes like no one else – and that in return makes her smile the way she doesn’t for anybody else in this world. That’s what I’m after.
Apparently once you are capable of making yourself anticipate these moments or behavioural patterns and finally capturing them – that’s when you start creating art. That’s why my second aim is to:
2. Get to know my clients better before I photograph them.
Photography is timeless. It’s been around since 1685, although it’s only in 1814 that it took shape as we know it. It evolves with the ever changing technology world. As someone said (Can’t remember the source, sorry!) – “When we’ve built the fastest machines and have dominated the skies there will always be a place for someone to tell a story”.
Photography is not about technology. Of course the equipment I work with is important and as a geek I’d love to buy another 10 light modifiers, 5 lenses including an absolutely wonderful and pretty much useless modern version of the Petzval from 1800’s and another body, a new laptop etc. but that’s not the point. So…
3. I’ll put more emphasis on the technique and the emotions I want to capture than on the cameras I use. I’m a storyteller more than anything else and pictures are my medium.
Now in order to do this I’ll have to make some adjustments to the boundaries I naturally set for myself. Sometimes asking people to take the same picture in a certain way is uncomfortable. Sometimes hearing another photographer say that technically the photo is underexposed or that there is something wrong with it (if we go by the book) makes me question my skills. But then someone once told me that some rules are meant to be broken. That’s the only thing that moves things forward! Which is why…
4. I’ll take pictures in places that are not obvious for weddings. I’ll crawl under cars, I’ll shoot reflections in puddles and I’ll never say that I won’t do something because it’s silly. I will shoot that picture that will blow your socks off y’all.
Thanks again Mac & Krusty – your wedding will be the bomb – not gonna say what the plan is teehee!
And here comes the biggest one – and it’s a CONDITIONAL.
5. If I manage to do all of the above I’ll enter the “Fearless Photographers Competition”.
Fearless Photographers is an extraordinary organisation that recognises photographers who step out of the comfort zone and moreover make their clients step out of the comfort zone. It embraces whatever is fearless in you. The work that comes out is stunning and mind blowing and inspiring. Ideally it will also push me to be a better shooter. In exchange you’ll get wedding photos like no one else.
If you’d rather have a set of regular, more traditional wedding photos – I’m not your guy, but I’m still more than happy to recommend someone from our wonderful North East Photo Community!
We need to get in touch!