Reinventing yourself

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Gabriel, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Gabriel

    Gabriel TPF Noob!

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    I go through this every few years, and each time it makes me a better photographer (I think!), so I don't dread it too much but it sure is a process.

    Right now, after being bored to death of the whole fashion scene, and having discovered that I don't have the patience and tenacity to shoot feature stories for the local paper, and having already combed almost every inch of the Florida Everglades, I need something deeper. Something that actually makes people think. Trouble is, when I refer people to my site, they don't see anything of what I'm talking about, and they don't get what's in my head.

    I guess the first step is to start looking a little more at other photography. I'm a big fan of Lauren Greenfield, so I snatched up a couple of her books. Most of my photo library is comprised of fashion and nature photographers. I'm not satisfied with my work, so I'll need to find another way. I think another step is to find a cause, or a project, and to look for non-models.

    This may sound like rambling, but if you've lost your way after years of shooting, and feel like sharing, please do. Especially if you found a new path along the way.
     
  2. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

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    If I ever feel like I'm in a slump, or need to try something different. I pick up a different camera. Perhaps a polaroid, a old Kodak brownie, or my grandfathers old Minolta Rangefinder.

    Changing the way I see through the viewfinder, often changes the way I see the shot.
     
  3. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    I've found, after a number of slumps, that each time I get stuck it is because I had allowed myself to drift into trying to do something that is not my own vision. In the late 70's and early 80's I got stuck in Ansel Adams mode, then when I was finally able to break out of that it was because I realized that while I like his landscapes they weren't part of my own vision. The next time I got stuck it was with nature subject (pretty picture mode if you will), and again, when I was able to break out of that I again discovered that I had allowed myself to follow the vision of others rather than expressing my own vision.

    Each time I broke out it was because I looked at the work being done by other people (which I'll tell you is a lot easier now than it was before the Internet). You have to be careful though, or you'll do what I did, which is replace one borrowed vision with another different borrowed vision. It took me a while, but I finally found what really drives me personally, and after that I've not run out of inspiration. I have run out of ability, at times, to get to the subjects that I want to photograph, but that's another story all together.

    As for how to discover your own vision I can only relate anecdotal evidence. I looked at the work of others, I took pictures of whatever I wanted to regardless of how stupid it seemed at the time, I stopped showing others what I had done, I started showing all of my efforts to others, I spoke with artists in other media (a big help for me personally by the way), and more things that I've forgotten I'm sure. Personal vision is an expression of our own unique life experiences, so it's difficult for anyone else to give a step by step solution, but perhaps something in what I rambled about here will be of some help to you...

    - Randy
     
  4. Gabriel

    Gabriel TPF Noob!

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    I've got a Minolta SRT101 I've been dying to try out, though it's similar enough to my 40D, other than its mechanical attributes, that it won't provide all that much of a jolt ;)

    I think I know what I've been wanting to shoot for several years, but I always just seem to make up excuses as to why I won't do it. I know there will always be a place in my life for beautiful women - not just photographically, of course, but that's a whole other thing - but there is something much more personal I've been wanting to get into, and never have. Actually, I'm not sure exactly what I'd be shooting, as in themes, but I know that once I start, I'll find my way around.

    Any and all thoughts are always helpful. I don't know too many photographers on a personal level, we compete too much down here!
     

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