It has been an incredibly busy but rooted summer. At the beginning of 2016 we made no plans or visual resolutions but wanted to “keep shedding our photographic skin.” It is remarkable how this constant foraging into new ways of seeing has kept us motivated and fresh. If there is one commonly repeated misconception about photography is that you have to find “your own style.” NO, you don’t. I know too many photographers who “found their style” and their photography became static and sterile.
Mind you, from a commercial perspective, manufacturing the same visuals is probably a smart thing to do. After all, there are so many good formulas and presets for popular imagery. If you want your seeing to evolve, however, you need to operate closer to the cliff. That’s why I cherish going through the work of young, emerging photographers. Even though their craft may need some refinement, their ideas and seeing are so fresh, individual, bold and edgy. It is even more stimulating talking to such new artists – there is no ego, pretence or brand – nothing to cherish or protect but everything to change and disrupt. The question is: How do you retain the visual mindset of a start-up photographer?
A few weeks ago, someone (sorry, forgot who) came up with a bold idea: What if a photographer decided to delete all her/his images? I mean all of them (the entire catalogue) and start anew. This includes all imagery on social accounts! This brave idea has shaken me up. No, I am not ready to do that just yet but the concept reinforced my belief in “visual cleansing” – abandoning your comfortable way of seeing and pioneering new ways of seeing the world around you. This includes erasing all the preconceived ideas of how the imagery is observed and crafted.
What do you think?
I am writing an extensive article about this topic which should find its way to this blog shortly. For now, here is some imagery from our recent seeing session in San Francisco – all taken with the X100F.
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