This is the title given to an online article written by Scott Bourne on http://www.photofocus.com/ (thank you Eileen R, Flickr contact who let us all know about it). I found it a really interesting and pertinent article that I am very pleased I read early on in this course. It has set me thinking about things outside my photography and me as a person. My fragilities and insecurities are and have been effecting and are reflected in my photography.
To summarise the article:
WHAT: Style is not simply shooting the same subject over and over. It's how you shoot that subject. Your style should fit your personality: who I am, what I like and what I want to express.
HOW: Know your gear, look at lots of pictures, take notes and keep a note of what you like and keep liking.
START: go out and shoot, take risks and express your emotions. Most people are afraid to do this because in a real sense it's the equal to going nude under the public eye - fear of rejection. Don't worry about what people think of your style. Can't please everyone - so don't try. Be honest with the world. Tell us who you are.
QUEST: is to find something in your photography that truly expresses who you are and how you feel. Not everyone will like your personality - tough, doesn't matter.
It is the text in bold that got under my skin. Photography aside, I am a relatively inhibited and self-conscious person. I worry about what people think of me and if they like me, which inhibits me further. I have recently carried out wedding photography for a relative and was pleased with the results, as were the couple fortunately. However after a while, as my own worst critic, I found myself seeing only the shortcomings in my photography which overshadowed what should have been a considerable achievement. I was uncomfortable seeing my photography at the homes of family, concerned that people would see the failures in my photography too and therefore me! I don't want to sound a negative person because I am not - I am on the whole a well-adjusted, happy individual, but fear of rejection manifests itself in all areas of my life.
Anyway, I decided that if I want to develop my photography at all, I need to overcome my inhibitions (I am under no illusions this will take a while) and stop hiding behind the anonymity of flickr and other forums. I think for now the safe environs of landscape photography needs to be put on hold. So, no time like the present - I am rethinking what my direction for the first assignment might be. It's time to start taking risks!