I’ve gone PhotoBlind
Since the TV advert you probably know of the word “noseblind” – which according to Wikipedia means “The gradual acclimation to the smells of one’s home, car, or belongings, in which the affected does not notice them”.
Well, I’m sorry but I’ve gone photoblind. I really cannot “see” 99% of the imagery that pervade our social media, model and photographer portfolios, modelling sites etc. It all just seems that most photos are oh so bloody boring, lack feeling, imagination, have no excitement, no story and so does that mean that potentially they have no reason for being.
Sure, they may be perfectly lit, exposed, posed, styled, post-processed, shot in a great location, obeys all the photographic “rules” etc. but really does it do anything for you … or me. And for many, as well as being boring, they can often be a repetitive clone of their own or others work.
Rightly or wrongly due to the likes of instagram and tumblr particularly, I think that photography is so very different now than it used to be and for some people that’s a shock. Who cares if there’s big shadows, bright lights, the tops of heads cropped off, limbs cut off at joints, double exposures, strange angles, over the top toning …. if it’s exciting, it’s vibrant, it’s fun then it usually good to look at and has a real purpose for being in engaging the audience. And I’m not necessarily talking of just amateurs that are producing this “shoddy unprofessional work” as some no doubt would call it. I’m talking of the work of many professionals who have moved themselves into the 21st century and embracing their new and younger audience.
So what about me? Up till lately, sure, much of my work could be classified the same, and what I say in my own words as “safe but boring”. In the past (40-odd years of being a photographer) I have put my camera down on a number of occasions when I reach this similar point and start to question my desire for photography when it all gets a bit stale. To then pick it up again a few years later hoping to start another phase in my photographic work. Yes, the work comes in from clients and I produce the work to satisfy their brief, but frankly it doesn’t always satisfy me.
So now I really need to again rekindle that love, that spirit, that excitement, the uncertainty that helps puts back the fun I had in creating photos with some great models of my past. Thinking about it, perhaps that’s also why I loved my documentary wedding work, it’s spontaneous, it’s exciting and it’s unpredictable. For at the beginning of the day I don’t know what I’ll have by the end.
So anyway, last week was the first phase of putting back the fun into my work and particularly with models where I had a shoot with Kate Laura. Yes, I’m sure that for the luddites the results break the rules of photography, but we had great fun doing something with a different look and edge. I’d stress, that the photos are nothing particularly new, the style is reminiscent of other photographers whose work I admire. As Kate said on the day though, the photos are “cool” which in my eyes means it’s hip, it’s now and NOT entranched in some bygone era of photography.
So whilst this week I have decided not to shoot with models for the moment …. nothing to do with models, it’s just a business decision ….. perhaps like me if you could just have a good look at the photographic work you produce and make some improvements by questioning the reason you have produced that body of work, to give it some real purpose and energy, then it might help cure my photoblindness. I can then start again to love more work “out there” and also my own work. Who knows, perhaps some of you are affected with the symptoms of photoblindness too, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.