I bet photographer's have been wrestling with the question of what their vision is since the craft was invented. I've been struggling with it a lot lately, but I have stuff going on in the real job that is really forcing me to think about what I want to do going forward. Like BIG stuff, stuff that isn't fair in a lot of ways, but stuff that I understand. Doesn't mean I have to agree with it.
Nonetheless, as I said, I'm being forced to think about long term stuff. This has naturally been geared towards trying to figure out if I want to go forward with photography full time. At this point, I still like the industry that I work in. I find it to be rewarding and generally worth while. Plus it provides very well for my family, which is more important to me at this point. I'm pretty convinced I can still go to work everyday and make images in my spare time, and be absolutely okay with that.
My muse is calling though. I have this nagging feeling pretty much at all times both at work and at home where I think about photography. I have a strong desire to go shoot, but I always procrastinate and end up going to bed empty handed. This also applies to this blog by the way. I'm convinced on a day in, day out basis that I don't know what I want to shoot. This is the part where vision comes in. I've realized my vision for my photography is undefined at the moment. So what to do about it? That's the real question.
I've been thinking about vision quite a bit lately. I have a few ideas that I am going to try and focus on here in the next few months. Here's the list:
- To make compelling/visually impactful images of whatever interest me.
- To utilize my landscape/nature photography for scientific/conservation purposes.
- As a means to communicate global diversity, whether it be societal or natural.
- To communicate my inner voice.
- To utilize my talent to advance charitable causes.
In my notes, I have that third one starred. But as I typed this, I noticed the word communicate a couple of times. Maybe that is what my overall vision is? A means to communicate what I'm feeling when I press the shutter to whomever wants to view my images. If my images can evoke feeling and emotion in the viewer, then that is enough for me. If they want to pay me for the image as well, even better. I can use the money to make bullet number five happen.
So I guess that's the challenge. You read it all the time, but I think it really boils down to just shooting. It is important though that everyone who has an interest in making compelling images has to spend at least a little bit of time thinking about how and what they want to shoot. For me, it has taken eight years to realize if I want to go forward with the craft as a profession sometime in the future, then I have some serious work to do to get there. I have issued myself a challenge. What are you going to do to move yourself and your photography forward?