Sunday, 20 September 2009

. . . a few thoughts on creative style

This is the title given to an online article written by Scott Bourne on (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!

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