The little time I spent in college I focused on mostly two subjects. Photography and Philosophy. I like to think I have done a pretty good job at combining the two different fields. To me it is a natural combination, not unlike the wonderful combination of peanut butter and chocolate.
To me, photography and philosophy have a certain romantic attraction about them. Maybe it is the freedom I am attracted to? Because when you think about it, I work in a creative field and I am encouraged by my clients and just by people who admire my work to keep doing more of what I am doing. As much as I hate commercialization I feel as though The Average Jim is becoming a brand, especially when I am told by so many people how identifiable my work is.
I know I’m not doing anything totally out there creative wise, at least most of the time I’m not. Honestly, I just like creating pretty pictures, whether it is for a commercial client, boudoir client or just a fun shoot at the beach. What I do is pretty simple, but the process is what I love and where the romance begins.
I think my favorite shoot days are those when I am in no rush, no other plans and no time limits. No limitations is my favorite way to shoot. I have a few people who will work with me on occasion who share this feeling with me. I think people need to really understand what this means. This means we will both do whatever it takes to get the shot we want. So many times I see photographers try to push boundaries and get models to take their clothes off for every shoot. This is not what no limitations is all about at all. This is having a pre-conceived notion about what you want and trying to get someone to do what you want.
No limitations means we work together and work within the concept of that day, or that moment. I was on a shoot recently where the model asked me if there was going to be any nudity, I just said only if the shot calls for it and she was totally cool with that. And guess what, none of the shots called for it so there were no nudes. They weren’t needed and honestly they probably would have distracted from what we shot.
This is where the romance is. In doing whatever it takes to take the idea from your head to into an image. It is a relationship between the photographer and their subject. Some people call it having a muse, but I call it being honest with your work. This is where the philosophy comes in. I stay true to my intentions and stay true to the vision. Don’t succumb to temptation, don’t compromise the integrity of the work. If your intention is to shoot a sexy photo of a model posing nude on the train tracks, then go for it, but don’t act like you didn’t want to shoot it to begin with.
I get some lucky shots every now and then, and sometimes I get something I didn’t expect. But I do stick to my concept and I stick to what I intend to shoot. My intentions may change, but that just means I get to set up another shoot on another day. 😉