I love mood. I love how mood can change an image from sexy to coy to disturbed all with a look or a subtle movement. Yeah, I like how moods change. I also like looking at certain photos that make you wonder what the subject is thinking. Basically I love images that make me feel something, if an image just sits there and doesn’t connect with me at all or if I think it is just there for shock value I tend to lose interest pretty quickly. I think people forget that if you are going to go for shock value there also has to be some intellectual thought to it as well. Just showing blood and guts won’t do it, that is just gore, something that any B-movie can do with fake blood, shock must come from the soul.
Funny, this coming from someone who rarely shoots anything shocking! But I think that this thought process can be used for almost anything you do. If you do not put thought into it or if you do not have a personal connection with it then it shows in your work. I talk a lot to the people I photograph, I like to build personal connections with them. Now imagine doing this in your daily life or at your job. I have a friend who builds custom cars, very expensive custom cars, not only is he obsessed with making them perfect but he loves what he does and it shows in his work. His clients see his attention to detail and how he takes time and care for every client and the product he is selling to them. This is why he is successful, to him it is more than just creating a product and selling it, he is satisfying the customer by doing it his way. Does this make sense?
It has to do with being true to who you are. I get contacted by clients through this very site because of the way I capture images of people. Sure, I pretty much exclusively only post images of models I work with, some of them are new models some are agency and some are from actual client shoots. But what I am really doing is posting my ideas here. This is how I shoot, this is how I truly see the world. I know it influences others, I just saw another image yesterday from someone who used the same model as I did and shot almost the exact same thing as I did, almost the same crop and everything. Of course he teaches others how to do what he does, he should just send them to my site.
Does it piss me off when someone blatantly rips me off? Yes, of course it does. But then I sit back and think to myself that I have the peace of mind of knowing that I came up with it first and I will continue to shoot what I shoot. I wouldn’t just assume this person is ripping off my ideas from this one image, but when I can pull several images and put them side by side and show that I published them months before this other person it gets a little obvious. Oh well, I’ll take it as a compliment and move on.
Back to my unraveling point. I post a lot of images on here that are quite similar in style to each other. But that is my style, it is what I love to shoot and what connects with me. I have been told by others that there is a connection they too see in the images which is what draws them in. This is why I bring up things like working on cars and people who take ideas from others. Unless you put something of yourself into it you are just going through the motions. I can tell you the settings on the camera of how the shot was taken, but that won’t do you any good in creating your own work. Anyone can learn how to expose a photo, not everyone can capture a mood. You can only fake it so far.
Be true to you and don’t sell yourself short. The only person it is hurting is you.