Archive for May, 2013
Unless you are taking photos for legal evidence, or to hand them off for processing to someone else, you are an artist, and should treat your work accordingly. Even if your goal is only to document an event, to take a photo, you must choose the subject, time, and composition of every shot. That means you are choosing the message you wish to convey, regardless of how the viewer may interpret it. Don’t shirk your responsibility as artist by dumping the raw footage onto your viewer. Ruthlessly eliminate and crop the redundant and unessential until only the kernel of the idea you had in your mind when you took the photo remains. Only you know why you found that moment in time and space interesting, so do your best to isolate and communicate that feeling in your work.
And another thing: when you wish to make something memorable, be authentic in your representation of the past. When you want to memorialize an event, don’t pose people and create an artificial situation with big fake grins. Convey real, true emotion with candid shoots. Don’t merely repeat the same pose with different backgrounds — as if to prove that you were there.
On the other hand, don’t always merely observe events: don’t hesitate to get in the action, and make something interesting happen. The fact that you are creating a situation does not make your subject’s reaction to it less authentic.