Please me please!
Subjects you pursue are really ‘you’?
Have you ever asked yourself if the photographs you take and the subjects you pursue are really ‘you’? You’ll probably be inclined to confirm with a bold yes, but if you take a moment to overthink it a bit more, maybe not so much. Below is a long shortlist of questions, but no answers. Those are for you to find.
Occurrence on the annual photo calendar?
How many of the subjects you photograph are dictated solely by their occurrence on the annual photo calendar? Heather in August, Red Deer in September, Toadstools in October, Moor frog in March, springflowers in April and so on? Do you find you are pursuing the same subjects year after year? If it’s because you want to build a solid and versatile portfolio of your subject or area, then fine. But if it’s because everyone does it, then isn’t now the time to reconsider your options and take a completely different direction?
Browsing your favorite social media?
How many of the subjects you photograph are dictated by the fact you saw them whilst browsing your favorite social media? Is it because others put you on the trail of subjects you wouldn’t have thought about yourself? Do you like what you see that much that you decide to go after the same subject? Are you a mass-following sheep without a personal opinion? Are you too lazy to take a walk and discover your own subjects and areas? Would you rather drive two hours to collect an image already made dozens of times before than soend the same two hours finding and photographing something unique?
How many photographs have you created only to prove yourself and others that you can photograph that subject too, and even better? Did your hobby turn into a contest over time?
How often do you enter your favorite nature reserve with preconceived ideas about the photograph that you want to take away on that morning? Is your mind open to the small and inconspicious? Are you working on a project and thus filling in the missing pieces of a larger puzzle? Or need a specific photograph for a client or editor? All good. Or is your head full to the brim with thought and sorrow with no space for creativity, experimentation and the flow of things.
Did not play along as wished and expected?
How often have you walked away cursing and with empty memory cards because the weather or subject did not play along as wished and expected? Do you need to get away with a great image that is worth posting, to impress you friends? Are you addicted to likes, shares and comments? Do you get up early and get out even if you don’t feel like it, because you need new work to post? Because you need to keep on working on completing the never ending collection of images? Have you used the bad days to research the area for when the weather improves, or tried to use the ‘bad’ weather to create images that are different and might put you on the trail of something promising?
Not possible to achieve without them?
How many of the lenses in your bag have you bought because they enabled you to obtain images that were not possible to achieve without them? Images that were in the back of your head but never possible before? How many of the lenses were bought because everyone uses them, because they have become a hype, because you too want to create images with out of this world bubbly bokeh? Do you really like that effect or are you reluctant to not follow the latest trends?
What kind of photographer are you?
I could go on for ages but won’t. I assume the above will keep you busy for a while. Try to answer these questions in full honesty by taking a deep peek inside and you might find out what kind of photographer you are.
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