Fall in love
Photographers have a special capacity in that we create images that are more or less interpretations of the real world. We don’t alter that world (per say) in making the photos, but we do create a different way of seeing. Even with the most abstract imagery – we base this on a subject of some kind. This subject can have an almost “real like” and close interpretation to the real thing, or it can be represented through layers of abstraction to divorce the subject from reality and deliver a unique visual metaphor culminating in what is our inner creative voice. Each one of us will do this in a unique way and that’s what keeps all of our work from looking the same as everyone else’s work.
With this being said, in photography you have to develop a relationship with your subject whether its a table, a flower, a car, a person, an activity, an act, an event, a landscape etc etc etc. We look for subjects whether they be animate, inanimate, actions or even metaphors for something else – but we must have some kind of relationship in order to represent anything visually.
How close are you to what you are photographing? If its a person, how well do you know them? What do you think the world needs to see? If its an object – what makes it unique? Is there a history that needs to be told?
We shape these questions into a visual product by making decisions about context, lighting and other techniques that will communicate these things. Is amazing though how many photographers don’t view these relationships as essential. Photography can certainly be “in the moment,” but even being in the moment means quickly sharing something communicative.
Here’s a challenge. Think of something you like to photograph and start a relationship you revisit over the course of 6 months or a year. Maybe its an object – maybe its a person. Start exploring what you choose and keep looking inside. Allow yourself to discover depth in your subject matter, see it in a new or unique way and fall in love.