Color, light, shadow and texture. The elusive harmony of form and composition. A look, a laugh, or a moment that draws you in. These are the things that compel me. This is why I create images.
I wrote this recently in an attempt to describe how I feel about what I do. What made me think of this was that I had recently photographed a young actor and college student and was trying to come up with a reason to show them off. She and I will be doing some conventional actor headshots for her portfolio, but I also asked her to be a subject for my ongoing Merrimack Valley People portrait project, and those are the shots shown here. In mulling over today's blog I encountered another blog, entitled "Your Artistic Voice - Do You Have One?", which you can read here.
I hope I have a vision and a distinctive style, or as the blog describes, "that work [that] couldn’t possibly have been done by anyone else". I also hope that my short statement at the opening of this post accurately describes it. The other article also says that a style comes from "life experience and mastery of material". In my life, both of these things are works-in-progress. I think if one ever considers either of those things complete, the game is over. If there's no learning going on, things get old pretty quickly, both in terms of the work product and the activity of creating it. One of the things that I like the most about doing a project like this is the ability to experiment, both artistically and in terms of that "mastery of material". I've seen web videos of photographers who tell their audiences that one light goes here, the other one here, and a hair light goes over there, and how they use a length of string to check the distance of each light from their subject so that their setup is identical each time. All together now: yawnnnnnnnnnnnn ..... Even in the studio, where I can control everything, I normally breakdown the equipment after each shoot so that no such boring thing will occur.
Color, light, shadow and texture. The elusive harmony of form and composition. A look, a laugh, or a moment that draws you in.
Whatever I am seeking when I shoot, even if it is something that I've done many times, if I am not stretching, at least in some dimension, I am not growing and am not giving everything I have to my artistic voice. In a commercial photographic setting, the client may think, and verbalize, that they "just want" <fill-in-the-blank>, but giving them something more than that is what differentiates and what results in an artistic vision.