That’s specifically what I tell myself and what I get excited about before going out to photograph a wedding or portrait session. Ok, so I don’t actually expect every photograph I shoot to be a piece of artwork because that would be a bit disdainful, yes? However, when photographing, I do at least have the intention that every single next shot I take in a series at least has the potential to be the best shot in my life; in other words a piece of artwork. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I feel I better have that attitude or I’m just taking pictures and in my mind’s eye there’s a huge difference between someone using a camera with the intention of snapping pictures vs. someone using a camera with the intention of creatively making art.
To be perfectly honest this concept is one of the reasons taking traditional shots where everyone is just standing there smiling isn’t my cup of tea. While I’m of course fully capable of getting that job done when necessary, I feel like there’s a little bird in my ear telling me this shot isn’t going to be that next great image as a piece of art. So during a wedding or portrait session if those shots are part of the gig I prefer to get them done well, but quickly in order move on to the artistic work. I also like to think that the artistic work is really what my clients want hanging on their wall in the end.
So on a shoot I make a real effort to push myself to do something extra and make art out of a situation that might normally just be a picture. This can be in totally setting up a shot, my encouraging a situation to develop in a way that’s cool or hanging back with a long lens finding the artistic angle that works in a photojournalistic approach. I really feel this is something clients should be aware of and ask themselves when hiring a photographer. I.e., does this photographer have the intention of artistically shooting and editing the work or is this someone that’s just there to take pictures. Some people may want the photographer that’s just there to take pictures, but that’s definitely not me.
Hopefully, the clients I continue to attract going forward have this artistic mindset too because it takes two to tango, but I’ll leave that for my post next month. In the meantime, let’s make some ART!