It’s your vision
We all have our own creative direction. Our favorite styles, preferences, and inclinations. I’m a member of a couple of photo clubs, I moderate 2 Facebook groups online. I’m always aware and surprised by the diversity of the people that participate, their interests, and subject matter. For me, I love surrealistic art. Things that make me question reality. Juxtaposing things together that don’t necessarily belong together and challenge my imagination. Make me see things in a different way. By contrast, there are several members that will only photograph realism, birds, flowers, landscapes. There is one gentleman that almost exclusively photographs eagles. If it doesn’t look like how we see it, then they would say it’s not photography.
You may like fantasy or abstract photography, taking license to load up on photo manipulation, postprocessing, trickeries, and tomfoolery; do folks really still use that word. On the other hand, you might like nature, documentary, or you may love realism. Truth in image. No extreme photo manipulation, no composites, nothing that doesn’t represent what the eye would see if you were standing there in person. Better yet you might mix any of these in any combination and come up with your own version. This will ultimately lead to your personal style. More on that in another series.
Always, and I mean always – remember, that this is your vision. You have your concepts and ideas for what it is you are looking to create. It’s to that goal that any critique or constructive criticism should be considered. Be true to your vision and yourself.
I have a friend that while he loves photoshop and photo manipulation, will always point out that I don’t always use my own images. Now don’t get me wrong, if I use an element created by someone else I say so. If I’m taking a class and don’t have something that will work with that technique that I’m studying, I’ll find something in the creative commons that will. Then when I post it for critique, I say so. For me it’s the difference between being able to try something and learning or not learning that technique.
I want to learn!
So, every time he says something along those lines I politely remind him that I know his feelings on it but I’m trying to learn this or that. Then I ask, how does this or that look? And the conversation continues and I get the feedback I’m looking for.
So, with that said, embrace the process and move forward. Learn, teach, share and accept. You now have in front of you the new and improved version or your art. You love it. It looks phenomenal, better than you ever thought it could.
Now what? It’s time to move on. Onto the next project, the next picture. The next critique. The next vision. It’s about vision. What do you see as the next project to put out there? Keep a running list of things to be working on. It shouldn’t be one and done. While you have one online being critiqued, be working on at least one or two others. I always have a couple of things in the works at one time. At different stages of progress and completion. I also have one or two out for C&C that I’m working on as well. This seems to be a pretty good pace to be working at. It keeps me busy but not overwhelmed.