What do you want to be when you grow up?
Remember when you were a child… you could be a doctor in the morning and an astronaut in the afternoon and everything else in-between? How could you think like that? Why would you think like that? Why was your brain so scattered?
Now, I don’t even play a child psychologist on TV… but I believe your mind was not at all scattered. Rather, it was putting into perspective and order all the new and bewildering things you were discovering every minute you were awake. You were also gaining an interesting side-effect benefit… you were discovering what sorts of things appealed to you; which you found interesting and enjoyable; which you excelled at and which not. You were laying the ground work to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.
And so it goes, too, with photographic vision and focus. In deciding to be a photographer, you have answered only part of the question. You will still need to define, and refine, what your unique expression, voice, vision, focus, message, style, etc., will be. And what better way to do that than to be a landscape photographer in the morning and a portrait photographer in the afternoon and everything else in-between?
As I wrote in an earlier post (Dec 8, 2015):
“… try shooting architecture, portraits, animals, plants, textures, mechanical, food, bugs, stars, fireworks, motion, sports, landscapes, pets, close-up, far-away, cityscapes, countrysides, still life, studio set-ups, storms, clouds… and yes, even Selfies; there is something to be learned from every shot taken. Soon [you] will start to discover a photographic preference developing and will start to hone the skills to excel at that chosen genre.”
By trying a lot of widely divergent genre, you will refine and pinpoint where your Mind’s Eye goes, which mental lens you tend to use to view and interpret the world, and the unique style you’ll develop to convey your vision and message.
So, get out there. Shoot everything. Shoot color. Shoot black and white. Shoot sepia. Play with the art filters in your camera. Or open up Photoshop. Shoot realism. Shoot abstract. Shoot up / shoot down. Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around. OK. That last one was just for fun. Point is… how will you know if you don’t try it?
Thank You for visiting,
P.s. What do you think will be — or what is — your favorite genre? How did you come to decide this? What sorts of things influenced — or are influencing — your developing style? Do you prefer: realism or abstraction; documentation or fantasy; grand view or minutia? Did you find any hurtles to overcome during your discovery process? Were you surprised by what you discovered about your preferences? I bet we all have some great stories… let’s share ‘em!