I have to admit that despite having a presence on YouTube and trying to get my channel going, I don’t watch many videos as I find most of them shallow and too much gear-oriented. Having said that, I recently watched an eye-opening video by Sean Tucker. In his latest video focused on social media he tackled so many important subjects. Rarely do you see a photographer talking so eloquently and honestly about social media, staying true to his own vision, being bold and innovative. Today, let me share my thoughts about one concept he mentioned, that is, owning your own vision.
If there is one mistake that is often repeated, it is to try to please as many people as possible with your imagery or in Sean Tucker’s words, “hack your way to success.” Yes, some of your images may get a lot of “likes” and you may even become a popular photographer but by trying to fit in, you will never built your own audience. Most importantly, you won’t be able to create innovative and fresh imagery. By definition, creative work will never please everybody, quite the opposite.
In fact, if you push boundaries of seeing, you will lose some of your audience and unpleasant as that is, it is a normal reaction. However, by staying true to your own vision and taking visual risks you will gain something much more valuable – a dedicated and engaged audience, which appreciate your work and will support you in your endeavour. It is remarkable how people chase numbers on Instagram, YouTube and other social media with a notion that those large numbers will make them more marketable later. The numbers really don’t mean much in terms of engagement or dedication to your work.
There is no question to me that owning your vision, experimenting and taking visual risks is the most powerful way to build YOUR OWN audience. Trying to please everyone with flashy, sought-after photography and writing will make you just another photographer with a blog.
Once you accept the fact that there is price to pay for pushing visual boundaries and sharing your honest opinion and experiences about photography, the more at ease you will be with your photography. You will start delivering not only more innovative imagery but your writing will become fresh, expressive and honest. When I go on the Internet I don’t want to read another “me too” and “let’s all hold hands” pseudo-inspirational piece but find honest and bold ideas – something that could shake me up and challenge my thinking about the process of creating imagery. Instead of thinking how to please as many people as possible, think how to contribute something new to the subject, how to see and craft imagery true to yourself and how to engage your own audience.
End of rant.
Here is some recent imagery taken mostly with the X100F.
next time we will go wild 🙂
2018 © OLI Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.
3 thoughts on “Own your vision”
Well said, Olaf. (And Sean Tucker is always a great choice for spending limited YouTube viewing time IMO.)
Could not agree with you more! Well said and thank you for your candor.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. Appreciate it.