With this time unbound to rigid routine due to “COVID era,” I thought it would be fun (enlightening, maybe?) to start a blog. (Who knows whether this will reach only my eyes or a few others, but I pray that this can be an honest place to explore questions…)
I recently re-read my good friend and inspiration Brooke Forwood’s words on the blessing and curse that is “to be a photographer.” Brooke suggests, “One can aim to get the coolest/prettiest/nicest images possible and one can aim to see something new […] What am I choosing to look at? With the camera used as a tool, I can view something that ordinarily I’d rush past in a redeemed light. [...] I can appreciate humanity a little bit more after 5 minutes behind a lens because I’m a little bit more awake to creation. Don’t I want to be a little more awake?”
Her words were all too relatable -- I wanted to give her a big old hug and tell her thank you right then. As a new, learning photographer trying to grow a business, I’m constantly reminded of the unspoken expectation to be trendy, to use the latest filters and edits, to hold a steady clientele from week to week, etc. Though these social expectations will always be an inevitable struggle any time I pick up the camera, I can attempt to be intentional about seeing something for what it is – for how our Father created it.
Something I’ve become aware of lately is just how crucial it is for my any content I share to accurately reflect my approach to photography. Though I may not grow a huge following like current photographers renowned for specific edits/filters, I wouldn’t feel honest (to myself or the client) posting a photo in a trendy edit and then photographing a client who hired me just because of this latest fad. Not only would I not feel honest, but I wouldn’t be able to provide consistency for clients – these trends are constantly changing, and truthfully, I’m just not that good at producing The Ever-Changing Look.
This is not to say that filters or color preferences within images are substandard; on the contrary, I think the photographers who are well known for these preferences beautifully own this specific style. However, maybe just from studying photography under a college professor who acknowledges traditional photo-making and from shadowing photographers who capture natural color and composition, I find myself drawn to this naturalistic, true-to-my-eye approach.
Aren’t you glad we live in a world where each pair of eyes sees life differently?