Make the work that makes you happy. Create the photographs that you want to. This is easier said than done. How do you make the images you want, when you do not know what they are? or you are busy procrastinating about even making images, as there is always something that gets in the way of making your photographic work. I know this, these days way to much. It is so easy to get distracted by the internet, by life, by family commitments, by working to pay the bills, and by in my case at the moment a motorbike being that is being rebuilt.
How do get out of the rut of contemporary life and make images that feel like your own, images that reflect your interests? I have no real answers other than a few questions. Other that what I am doing with my Develop a Photography Project class tonight, that with luck will help them to develop ideas of their style and area of interest. We are going to be ripping our precious magazines up, to remove images that we would like to have made. Images that have: ideas that we want to express, techniques we would like to have used, something that makes us feel connected to our world.
The idea comes from a book called The Perfect Portfolio by Henrietta Brackman. The idea is to take a pile of magazines and rip out images that you would love to have created and to see what underlying unifying themes and approaches exist within the collection of images that you find give you. I did this myself s a few years ago and it does help. If you do not get a sense of what you are searching for, it will most likely mean you choose the wrong type of magazines to select images from. You need to find magazines, that also are rich in visuals and have a wide diversity of images, that you can select from.
This is a good way of finding your style. But it still does not help you to make the photographic work you want to. That is only done by finding time, to go to wherever it is, that you want to make your type of photographs. I personally am exploring how to make documentary photography of capitalism. I am concentrating on this subject, as I find it interesting. Not everyone will share my politics and I accept that, but it is what I am interested in and that is why I am choosing it for my subject.
You will have to find your own subject and interests to make your photographs. You have to find the time and motivation to make the images that you dream of making their is no other way of really begin a photographer. And you have to remember that we can all be photographers now. The divide between professional and amateur has been eroded by the internets ability to reconfigure industries and the media industry has been affected dramatically by the disruptive nature of the internet. So we are all photographers this is liberating and should be viewed as a positive thing. As a professional photographer it is threatening as the old sources of income generation have shrink but there are always ways of earning money some of them not so obvious to professional photographers who are of the pre-internet generation.