Getting personal with your own work can help you improve your photographic skills.
- Photography is a creative pursuit. Every photographer has a unique vision of the world. And I want to encourage you to move away from the traditional imagery that you might be taking and get personal, be selfish, and photograph what you are most passionate about. Funny thing is, the more personal you make it, the more universal it becomes. The more personal you're willing to be, the more you separate yourself from the masses of other photographers that are out there. You know, when I was a young photographer, these two images had a big impact on my future work.
This first one was taken, I think I was 14 years old. It was at a local swimming pool in a suburban area of Montreal where I lived. And I didn't really understand about backlight or even exposure back in the day when I shot this with my Nikon FM and Tri-X film. But when I developed the film and saw the image, I realized that, wow, this looked way better than it did in reality. And I realized that photography although is very good at capturing what reality is, you can use it in a way to kind of say something that you feel about a particular place or subject, et cetera.
So that was really important to me. And this image also I remember because to take a picture like this on a bus, requires you leaving your comfort zone because people's expectations when they're riding a bus is not to have their picture taken. So as a photographer when you see, what I thought was a strong picture, to actually lift my camera to my eye and take this picture required me to get out of my comfort zone. And you know what, since that time, whenever I get out of my comfort zone, it's usually for a good cause and that is to try and get a four or five star picture.
So what are you trying to say with your photography? Do you want to show the beauty of the world as you see and experience it? Do you want to photograph the things that are most personal to you, like your own family? Do you want to capture the joy that you see every day in the world? Or do you want to focus on some issues that kind of make you angry? Well, you have the power to communicate these most personal feelings, you just have to find the outlet. If there's one concept that I want you to take away from this course is that the most rewarding part of the photographic process often comes when you find a project or a theme that you feel passionate about, that you can translate into your photography.
You'll find meaning and purpose in the picture taking process and you'll learn about yourself while elevating your personal photographic vision. All big ideas start with a small step. Securing your idea is what you need to do first, but keep in mind that you really won't know if your idea is going to work until you start shooting.
- Finding your photographic passion
- Getting personal in your work
- Books as a source of inspiration
- Documenting a cause
- Exploring the work of Barb Davidson
- The order and disorder of cities in photos