Photojournalism Passion

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Jamesbutler, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Jamesbutler

    Jamesbutler TPF Noob!

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    After several years in journalism photography, shooting pictures because of a demand for them, I feel like I've lost my ability to see a picture where there hasn't been one solicited. This primarily comes from photojournalism revolving around pictures with a human interest; therefore a big incentive to people in your pictures.

    Has anyone else felt this lack of creativity after working in journalism?

    Thanks
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Where am I now?
    Not journalism, but advertising and editorial. I found that I couldn't see a point to taking a picture if I wasn't getting paid to do it.
    I had to re-educate myself. I started taking pictures for people for nothing - family portraits, school prom photos, even one or two weddings (but only for friends). Each job became a commission but the only payment I got was the pleasure my work gave to others. By this means I found I started taking pictures again for their own sake.
    Even so, you still get burn-out just by taking too many pictures. It sounds like you have a touch of it. Everyone who takes pictures gets it now and then. Currently I am forcing myself to take landscapes (I was never much good at landscapes) as a good cure for my current bout.
    I think there is another thread in here on the same subject...
    Yup. Here it is
    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24774
    Always here to talk to you if you need it.
     
  3. Karalee

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

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    Not personally, but the other week at a fairly large horse event I met a lot of "real" photographers (as opposed to myself :lol: ) and it was great to just be able to sit and listen to stories. One of the photographers was a photojournalist from PA who flew in with a friend to help him cover the event, and the other was an equine photographer from Kentucky. I watched and listened to the 2 exchange pros and cons over why they loved what they did. I could genuinely see the passion this PJ guy had for his work, the way he talked about how much he loved being able to tell a story with his work.

    He then went on to say how this (photographing the horse event) was boring to him :lol:

    I guess what Im trying to say is that if youve lost that 'zest' for doing what you do, then maybe you should try to delve into other areas that you don't explore so much on a day to day basis, as Hertz said. Who knows, it might evoke an untapped creative place you havent yet seen.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    My work is about 70% advertising and 30% editorial for the paper I work with. Advertising is a game that is very frustrating at times. I alleviate that by hitting the editorial work as hard as I can and the results are rewarding. My personal work is also a saving grace for me.

    You have a tough situation. Losing passion for your work will show up in the photos. If you have the luxury of putting down the camera for a couple of weeks do it. If not may be take the hitting it as hard as you can approach. Look to other mediums for inspiration, go to museums. I have been there. Taking the "this is not why I got into photography" approach is lame. Your work got you this far. You will need a lot of strength to continue photography for the rest of your life.

    That is all cute and idealistic, but it works for me. As always the decisions will need to come from your heart. I do know that things will not get a whole lot easier.
     
  5. Jamesbutler

    Jamesbutler TPF Noob!

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    I think my post didn't say what I wanted it to. I haven't lost the passions for photography all together-- just everything that isn't photojournalism. After working on a daily basis getting photos that require "human interest" as my editor always called it, it makes it hard to go out and take photos purely for the artistic value. I find myself going out to take some night city-scapes or landscapes, for example, and I take a photo or two and can't see the point.

    When I get the photos back I'm so used to looking for human emotion in the photos that I can't get myself inspired about non-journalistic subjects. Most everything, I just consider boring. That's how I mean I've lost my passion.
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    On one hand you could say "why fight it". Rolling up to an art fair or just carrying your camera without the pressure of deadlines etc could produce some fine work. "Purely for artistic value" may be over rated. Personally I have been on an industrial kick that has been failing miserably. My thoughts are "if I have to shoot one more kids art class or screwy photo illustration I will spit". Industrial seemed far enough away from that. Some how the photos have been falling short. "Blue Lift Part" in the critique gallery is a good example of what I mean. This weekends adventure will take me to horses and or a Blue Lift part reshoot so we will have to see what that produces.

    I really feel the need to shoot personal photos on the weekends. When I shot home fashion work I did not shoot personal work for close to five years. I never want that to happen again. Strangely enough TPF is a great inspiration.

    The creative wall has been discussed. Common sense says put down the camera. I even bought a mountain bike to occupy my time. It is a great outlet, but as I am "sucking wind" my thoughts immediately flow to the photo opportunities of my current situation.

    I do not think you have lost your passion. May be your passion has come to a level that you are not familiar with. Maybe shoot some horse photos this weekend and we could battle. That will keep things interesting.
     
  7. Jamesbutler

    Jamesbutler TPF Noob!

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    Excellent advice on the shooting the opposite of what you normally shoot, i.e.- industrial. I'm starting on a cross country road-trip this weekend (Seattle, Portland, San Fran, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Colorado, OKC, Dallas), surely the trip will produce some excellent photography opportunities and give me what I need to get my vision back.
     
  8. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Hard to go wrong with a road trip. Definitely good for the soul and always an interesting experience. Passing cool shots at 65 mph can be a bummer, but like most things there are ways around that. Anyway have a safe trip and we can not wait to see the results.
     

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