I grew up in a world where the current day “rules of photography” were an unknown, probably did not exist (at least not in art circles.) We learned to look, feel and produce from the heart; to see in our mind's eye first, then to move out in our specific medium to produce what our creative eye has seen. We explored our inner souls and sought a way to express ourselves through the medium of our choosing. We looked intently at our world; we framed things, watched light and color and saw shapes and forms. We looked at how our world was put together and we studied the passing of our world around us. We learned how to see, how what we saw affected us and what we wanted to convey to others or produce for ourselves. We were taught freedom of expression. Nothing was too outrageous and we learned to deal with our limitations by expanding our horizons or knowledge or we threw caution to the wind and stepped outside our comfort zones. We learned to put our soul into what we did. It is never an easy choice to do this; after all we bare ourselves for the world to see and leave ourselves open to rejection. But there is also something to gain. We gain respect. We gain a freedom that only our souls can touch. We gain a truth and loyalty to our soul. We gain a unique expression.
People may think we are a bit crazy; we have to be willing to let them. Thankfully we are each a unique being with a unique expression. Some of us love art, some do not. Some see this kind of exploration as a waste of time when there are rules that exist. Those who do not explore their soul take a risk that they will be producing just one more landscape that will be one that looks like every other one just with a different sunset, different water and different set of rocks instead of something that speaks to your own soul. Or risk that they will produce one more portrait that doesn’t reach into the soul of their subject. The elements or principles of art are not rules. They are found everywhere in our world. How we put them within the frame should reflect how we see and feel about that world. Knowing our own response to these aspects of art helps us to create work that speaks not only from the heart but to the heart. It should evoke a response. It could be as simple as wow or a joy at a treasure found or a unique perspective to a known world or as complex as a provocation to action. If you try to live within rules or your perception that the only way to compose a frame is by someone whose decision that this is what makes a "nice" work you risk losing the elements that evoke a reaction and tie your own hands of creativity. It is up to you to reach into the depth of yourself or your subject to show your perspective. Be courageous.
|In the Shadow of the Master|
Remember art is completely subjective. If we think that what we like or for that matter, may not like, and someone else will feel the same...it is time to think again. The most wonderful thing about art is that there are people who will love what you do. Be fearless. Look at yourself. Look at your world. Breathe. Then breathe again. Take it in. Then, create from the heart.
As a photographer, it is time to shoot from the heart. I think it will open a whole new realm for you as an artist.