Monday, June 13, 2016

Some Very Personal Thoughts

Portfolio Review will be coming up shortly at Northwest Houston Photo Club. I have fallen very far behind with all the chaos since the flood and have got to get back on track.

In the meantime I read an excellent article this evening titled 7 Questions to Help You Find Your Perfect Personal Photography Project.  Not to spoil the article but I would like to share a the seven questions. You can read the article at the link above.

I am always confused by photographers that talk about beauty, capturing beauty. There are times I just want to throw the BS flag and then just stomp all over it. Is beauty the only reason to take photographs? And good gracious hasn’t it been done to death? What can possibly be added at this late date? Yes, there is a lot of beauty in the world. And yes flowers are beautiful (sometimes). And majestic mountains and pristine tropical beaches, and even baby butts. Don’t you ever feel like you are drowning in beauty? I sure do.

This, in my humble opinion, offers some alternatives.

What are your hobbies
What are your communities
What magazines do you read
What skills do you want to master
What are your values
What makes you angry (obviously beauty)
Who inspires you

If you are thinking about participating n the Review, please read the article. There is so much more to life and to photography than beauty--important stuff, personal stuff, stuff inside you that needs to get out. You don't have to make ugly pictures to do it but you do have change your thinking to something more concrete, more meaningful. I am old. I fail to understand why I seem to be the only old person among my friends that get a real kick out of exploring death with my photography. (Fellow asked me the other night what I photographed and when I said death he gave me a really, really weird look like he thought I was bonkers.) Don't tell me that you never think about death--your own in particular. Don't tell me
the eternal footman holds my coat and snickers I am well aware of that. WOW! For No. 7 stick in your back pocket Eliot, Cummings, Dickerson, Poe, Bryant; take your inspiration from a medium outside of photography. The world is full of portfolios when you don't bury your head in the sands of beauty. Or the biggest self initiated crime of all--taking your inspiration from the work or ideas of another photographer, or from what someone else feels is a suitable subject for photography. Art does not come from mimerkery or capitulation.

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