Revealing Yourself Through The Artifact
Art is not just the artifact itself. Art, in our case a photograph, is something that reveals the artist through the artifact.
We all have something to say, and as photographers, we try to visually convey our emotions and ideas to our viewers. What we say might be personal, social, or even political. It could be loud or soft, light and airy, or it something maybe dark and lonely. What do you have to say through your subjects, and ultimately your images?
Photography is an extension of who you are. It’s your medium of expression. When you are photographing, you’re telling a story of what makes you happy, what you think is beautiful or interesting, how you feel, and what you believe. You share your work with others for validation watching carefully for a response, wondering if what you have done has impact. Visual expression is deeper than what you might think.
Some may say (and they’re probably right) that my work is dark, contrasty, and sometimes mysterious. What does that say about me as a person? I have many things to say, but I will save you my own psychoanalysis which would lead to many responses that are not necessary, nor invited. Because we don’t really care to talk openly about our emotions to strangers, we let our work say what we have to say, and hope others “get it”. We have hope that there others will identify with our work, vision, and reactions to life. It’s hard to combine subject, light, shadow, and composition into a photograph that perfectly defines us, our vision, and is universally accepted and understood. When that happens, though, it’s called a masterpiece, and that doesn’t happen too often. That’s why we continue photographing.
You will inevitably reveal yourself through your images, but, there may be some incorrect conclusions made about you (and your work) by your viewers. This is mainly because the final product never perfectly resembles the vision in our head. For that reason, the absolute truth in the artist’s heart, soul, and mind, may never be fully understood by our viewers. The closer you can get the technical part of photography to align with your thoughts, will help viewers identify with you and your work.
Our primary goal? Not for viewers to just see a pretty picture, but for them to “get it”. To identify, and understand us as an individual.
Do you have something to say? Leave a comment, hit me up on Twitter!
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