Why Photography?

Someone asked me recently, "why photography?"  Why did you choose photography over all the other arts out there?  Well, the answer for me, is easy.  And while I could go on about how it's my passion, how it feeds my creativity, blah, blah, blah...it really does.

My day job in the entertainment industry, which I truly love, is great.  However, it doesn't allow me to be creative in any sense of the word.  It's logistics, plain and simple.  So, photography feeds me creatively.

I was never interested in the other arts like painting, primarily because my artistic talent for it never evolved beyond stick people.  And when I go to museums or see the "great" masters in a book I have to stop myself and ask, "why is THIS good?  A first grader could paint this." (HUGE eye roll here.) Admittedly, I look at some of the really well known photographer's work and ask the same thing.  It's not that I don't appreciate great art, but my perception and (naturally) my opinion play a definite role here.

Consequently, I'm always hyper critical of my own work.  Weirdly however, I love getting critiques (though I HATE art speak) because it forces me to see another's point of view and puts me on a path to improvement. Even now, after all the art education I've had, I'm still surprised at what comes out in the image I thought I saw through the lens.

When I'm out shooting, time, people, sounds, thoughts, all disappear and it's ALL about the photography. From the time I first picked up a camera, it was always a surprise to me that what I saw in the camera and resulting image was similar, but somehow different.  It either made me feel something emotionally or it didn't. What does that mean, you may be asking yourself.  Well, it means that while I may have an idea in my head when I begin, it may or may not follow my thought process in the way I thought it would when I was looking through the viewfinder.  It may be better or worse than I expected, but either way, it's something of a surprise.  It produces an emotion.  Whether that's a good or bad thing, is in the eye of the beholder.

Early on in grad school, I started shooting artificial flowers for a project.  I had an idea in my head, but the result was entirely different than what I had in mind. The images below prove my point precisely. The color image is what I saw through the lens.  The sepia version is end result.

 
 

I am passionate about photography because even though I like to think I'm in control, I so am NOT. The camera continues to remind me that it is my nemesis AND my friend.  It's almost as though when I think I'm moving right along, it slaps me upside my head to remind me that I need to stay on my toes to be (and become) a great artist.

A very good writer and photographer friend of mine once wrote, "find your passion and embrace it...passionately!"  I do.