Monday, October 09, 2006

Photo What You Know

When you begin working with the camera everything is new and fresh. You want to take pictures of everything. You're still just learning techniques and skills and how to begin to master this craft. But at some point in time you move beyond this introduction stage to doing something with meaning and purpose. The camera and the print are now means to an end, your goals and artistic ideas.

You start to ask yourself, "What should I photograph?" and for many people a sense of struggle and dread begins to set in.

One answer to this questions that I might suggest is to photograph what you know. These will be the people, places, things, and ideas/themes that you already had an interest in before you ever picked up a camera. You have a history and personal knowledge of these subjects that provide a foundation and unique viewpoint, resulting in work that has depth and style.

Who are the people you know and meet? Where are the places you go or pass by? What are the objects and things you have, collect, or see around you? What are some of the ideas and themes in life that continue to pique your interest or come up in your conversations? AND once you've thought of those subjects, HOW then can you use your camera and the printed photograph to express those things to others in a beautiful and/or meaningful way?

(Shooting at home, a place I know well: the image at the beginning of this post was simply taken at home when I woke up one morning.)

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