I’m pretty grateful that I didn’t wake up to an inbox full of:
You’re a piece of shit photographer. What gives you the right?
How dare you…
Do you have three personalities?
During my rant, people were pretty respectful or just quiet… During my drive today, I had plenty of time to stew on my post. I was really afraid that it would get twisted by some of my favorite photographers. 95% of my photographer friends shoot the details. They shoot the bits of life and make them look fantastic. Offending them was not my plan. I still identify and will continue to shoot the everyday life. I have boxes of “boring” photos that I won’t throw out. I’ll continue to edit icky details from last week’s hotel room (not cheating. that above photo is from today’s hotel). I won’t ask my kids to look at the camera and smile. I’ll work to get genuine emotion from them because I want to remember them in the moment. I live in that mundane photo style. It’s what I think I’m good at and will continue to shoot it.
I had lovely email exchanges with a few photographers who do it so well. They’ve found their style and they breathe it. They’ve always given the best advice. They’re not of afraid of sharing their knowledge because you might copy them, but so you can find your own voice. Their photography is authentic because they didn’t chase the trends (if they did, they stopped), but because their own voice was more powerful than the trends. And it was hard to ignore.
There will always be trends. When Britney Spears showed up in the school-girl outfit and auto-tuned the hell out of her voice, hundreds lined up behind her to do the same. You might hate auto-tuned songs, but she did it the best. Good and sometimes bad, Facebook has put more photographers on my screen. It’s mostly through that damn news feed on the right side bar. I see friends of friends commenting on other photographers’ images. Yesterday each photographers’ image and words were feeling the same. Like someone auto-tuned them. We should all be inspired by someone. Use their art to influence your own art. Let their voice help push your very own voice to its uniqueness.
In the wise words of Lil Wayne…
“Ladies and gentleman, if you got anything from me, it’s to find your thing and do you, because we all know it’s not what you do, it’s how you do. And this is how we do.”
Yes, I quoted Lil Wayne or Mountain Dew… You pick.
Day 28: A place to respectfully rant.