I recently came across a facebook post – you’ve probably seen a post like this too. Once, twice, maybe a hundred times. It’s that post that denounces the current trends in photography. How using presets = laziness. How we don't know or understand basic photography rules.
Trends such as:
Improperly exposed photos:
Washed out colors:
These posts usually go hand in hand with similarly themed posts about how the affordability of DSLR’s is ruining the photography industry. Now ANYONE can “claim” to be a “professional photographer”!!!
These posts drive me crazy. Why does it seem like only creatives knock other creatives down for trying to be creative?!
While the post in question wasn’t directed at me or any one person, let’s assume for a moment that it was.
Who created these so called hard and fast rules of photography? Why can't I freely share what I deem to be "My Art"?
Sure, my photos are not for everyone. My kid never looks at the camera. She never smiles. I'm all about the editing with presets and love the trends - but who's to say I'm not a photographer, or I'm less than because I like these things?
Pablo Picasso is a famous painter - yet I'm not a fan. Does it make him less of an Artist because his art doesn't resonate with me? Not really.
Social Media is both a wonderful and horrible place to present your art. Everyone has an opinion. Keyboard warriors dictate their opinions without a second thought from the comfort of their couches. Sometimes its constructive, oftentimes it’s not.
Who is anyone to judge?
As a dreaded “Mom-tographer” I’m lucky enough to be able to shoot whatever I want without a care for consistency or what other people think. I'm all about applying Marie Kondo’s methods to my photography journey. I shoot what brings me joy.
I’m sure we all have an image that brings us joy, but is a technical failure. Want to see one of my favorite images ever? It’s my only wedding photo…. and its SELECTIVE COLOR – THE HORROR!!!!
But guess what? I still love it now as I loved it then.
So, what’s the point of all this? I write this because after shooting and continually learning for the last five years – I’ve finally developed a thick skin about other people’s opinions – however I’m not that far removed from being a newbie either. When a photographer I admire writes about people like me or you ruining their industry – It kinda sucks.
When people knock other people’s art, it does nothing to uplift our industry. It provides nothing more than a platform for more people to complain about all the things that are wrong and none of the things that are right.
As a child of the 80’s, I have a ton of JC Penny studio images. Images like this one that tell you nothing about how I was as a kid - but hey - check out that exposure and focus!!!
For my own kid, I have a ton of different photos that may not be deemed “Professional” but it leaves you in no doubt of what this child is like....
Sure I’m breaking some rules and maybe my exposure is a little off – but as an artist, I GET TO MAKE MY OWN RULES – and guess what? YOU GET TO MAKE YOUR OWN RULES TOO!!!!
While it’s not my intention to ruin the industry, I want to give all of you photographers out there permission to shoot whatever you feel like shooting. If it brings you joy – do it. If it’s a technical mess, but makes you happy – shoot it.
If you're not "hand editing" and just dumping a preset on your images - that's cool.
If you never "Learned on Film" - you're still a photographer in my eyes.
If you also love the treads - that's awesome!
Just continue to be a bad ass rule breaker like me. Rules are boring. If we happen to ruin the industry in the processes, I'll totally take the blame.