Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Wildly Creative Photography

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Everyone wants their photography to stand out, to be perceived as unique, special, and wildly creative. To achieve this, many photographers resort to all kinds of approaches and techniques to make that happen.

Some photographers rely on wardrobe, props, shooting environments, and hair-and-makeup to make their images stand out. Others count on dramatic lighting to accomplish their goals of shooting unique images. These days, perhaps most shooters utilize post processing of one sort or another to make their photos special, be it via their uses of Photoshop and other general purpose photo editing software or by applying pre-packaged treatments to their images.

In my opinion, what often enough becomes a casualty of more than a few photographers' quests to have their pics deemed unique and uncommon is good, simple, basic photography skills.   Here's an FYI for any of you who believe the only way to get noticed (as a photographer) is by producing images that are decidedly less seen: For the most part, you're wrong. Nothing trumps consistently excellent yet basic photography skills in your work.

Sure, occasionally producing those sorts of less-seen images is a good thing. A really cool thing. A thing that often gets you noticed in special ways. Sometimes shooting those images might even be a requirement of sorts.  But when you become obsessed with trying to produce those sorts of over-the-top, stand-out pics in everything you shoot, you'll not only fail at doing so, leastwise doing so with everything you shoot, but it's likely that you'll be engaging in exercises of futility as you regularly attempt to do so. Worse, those efforts might start to become gimmicky and/or repetitious in a "we've seen this before" kind of way.

I don't care how well thought of you are as a photographer because of the wildly creative photos you sometimes produce and share with the world, you will still shoot plenty of throw-away images if producing wildly creative pics is always your goal. And I'm not simply talking about those frames from your wildly creative sets of pics that aren't keepers. I'm talking about entire sets where "wildly creative" is your #1 goal.

For most photographers, it's your ability to consistently produce good photos, I mean very good photos, photos that don't constantly try to rely on wildly creative approaches but are consistently competent in terms of basic photography skills, coupled with a good eye, that will award you status as a good, make that an excellent photographer, be it a professional status or hobbyist status.

So of course, when it comes to wildly creative approaches to your photography, give them a shot. Give them a shot somewhat often. Those sorts of pics most definitely have a place in your portfolio. But don't do so at the overall expense of basic, simple, and straight-forward photos, photos that shine, i.e., photos that make you shine because of their obvious and consistent displays of elemental and essential skills. They are the foundation and back-bone of most photographers' work and they will go a long way towards making your occasionally "wildly creative" efforts stand out even more. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said. Most of my 'best' looked decent thru the lens but wowed on the slide. My favorite was a picture I would have thrown out but the creative guy made a box cover out of it. You just never know what another creative mind can find a use for.