Are you a photography enthusiast who feels stuck and unsure of the direction to take your craft? Do you find yourself captivated by the mesmerizing beauty of nature and want to translate that into powerful visual narratives? Look no further, as we have the perfect solution for you. In this blog, we will explore the art of finding a direction for your photography with the guidance of the exceptional photographer, Rachael Talibart. With her vast experience and unique approach to capturing the essence of nature, Talibart will share invaluable tips and insights to help you discover your own creative path and bloom as a photographer. Join us on this exhilarating journey of self-discovery and artistic growth.
Finding a Direction for your Photography (feat. Rachael Talibart)
So you bought yourself a camera and you’ve been going around and shooting anything and everything so you can learn how to use it and you’ve got loads of different images now lots of different subjects and some of them you like and some of them you don’t like and you’ve Gone online and watch numerous tutorials to try and build up a good skill set so that you can take better images in each of those different areas and all of that is well and good it’s how you learn but you’ve now hit that stage where you realize that there’s a much bigger Puzzle to solve and you can’t put it off any longer and that is what are you going to point this camera and these skills at it’s time to pick a direction for your work and that’s why I chose to make this film with Rachel Talibart
I met Rachel through our mutual friend Simon Baxter and after hearing a little bit of her story and looking at her images, it was clear that this was somebody who took her time to work out a very specific focus for her photography that she now regularly received critical acclaim for in her work but also creatively fulfills her and constantly Energizes her to keep shooting. As you’ll hear, that meant leaving a very high-powered job in the city and trying to explore lots of different genres of photography to work out which way she wanted to do all the while trying to bring up young children and balance a Busy family life until that day that the penny dropped and she found her niche and started to plug away. That’s why I think Rachel’s story is one that speaks to all of us who are looking for that specific direction for our photography. And you’ll notice I said us. Because I include myself in there. So I’m gonna keep this short, partly because I’m sure you can hear I’m losing my voice, I’m coming up quite a bad week of flu, but mostly because I want you to spend a good amount of time with Rachel’s story And her work. And in her story, I hope you discover somebody who went through a process herself and did it patiently to work out what she wanted to photograph that would fulfill her and reach other people. And that that will get you thinking about your direction, your niche, The project you need to be seen, the subject matter you need to be seen, the focus you need to put into your photography that were both enriched you creatively but also reach and connect with other people where they’re at. So, I’m going to shut up now. Here’s Rachel Talibart.
Rachel’s Connection with the Sea
My connection with the sea goes right back to my earliest childhood. I grew up on the west Sussex coast, and in fact, in Bognor Regis to be precise. Perhaps not one of the most instantly famous places on the coast, but my dad was a keen yachtsman and sailing was something we did all the time. Every weekend that I can remember as a child and pretty well all of the school holidays were spent at sea. Unfortunately, as some people may know, I was and remain a bad sailor. I get trouble, I can get travel sick on the London Underground. So, I was quite relieved when I was about 12 or 13, dad gave up long-distance sailing.
But I think those years did give me something special. They gave me a lifelong fascination with the ocean. A lot of it has to do with, I think, the fact that I was seasick because as anyone who suffers from that or for malady knows, you really have to stay on deck, you can’t go down below. That makes it so much worse. So on long sea crossings, I had no choice but to stay on deck. Can’t read, anyone who’s been carsick knows that. So, I had to just look out, and I used to look at the sea because there wasn’t anything else to look at frankly. The occasional lighthouse, but otherwise nothing. And I used to or kids or imaginative. I was the same. I used to imagine sea near mountainscapes. In the ways, I used to imagine monsters or creatures reaching out. I know I used to tell stories to myself.
So, as an adult, I would always prefer to go on holiday to a coastal location. Never been very good at sunbathing, so I would prefer to go somewhere misty with driftwood and rough seas rather than somewhere sunny and colorful. That’s definitely very much the theme of my work.
Transitioning from a Career in Law to Photography
My first career was as a solicitor in the city of London, and the reason I got into that was because when you’re 17 and you’re filling in the UCAS form as it then was, I think, you are not old enough to make a good decision. And I was very much, you know, I’m going to be this successful businesswoman and everything that I probably wasn’t suited to being at that stage and decided to do law because everyone was telling me to do English literature. So, I went to university Southampton University to do an LLB. And about a week in, I realized I’ve made a terrible mistake, and I spoke to the English literature department, and they said, yeah, sure, you can come. But actually, loads of lawyers have realized before you that they’ve made a terrible mistake, and we’re full. But you can come back next year. And my parents said to me, well, why don’t you wait until Christmas and see. And so, I stuck it out. And of course, by Christmas, I’d got a social life, I’d made loads of friends, and I was fully embroiled in that side of uni. And I decided to stick it out. And then, I stuck it out for another 20-something years.
The day I realized that I really shouldn’t be sitting in a law firm was actually through my best friend Katherine. And one day, I popped into her office to say hi, as I did. And she was sitting behind a desk looking all shiny and bright and happy. And I said, oh, you’re on good form today, what’s up? She said, oh, I’ve got a new case, we actually used to call them matters. So, I’ve got a new matter, and I’m going to have to work really, really hard, and it’s going to be brilliant. And I thought, well, good for you. And I went away and sat at my desk and thought, oh no, when I get a new matter, I think, oh no, it’s going to be really, really hard, I’m going to have to work really, really hard, everyone’s going to realize that I’m actually no good at this, and it’s going to be a complete disaster. Now actually, I’ve been doing really well, I’ve been promoted ahead of some of my peers and that, so I wasn’t really rubbish at it. But the fact that I felt that way showed me that this career was not going to lead to lifelong happiness. And that was when I started to think about alternatives.
The decision to become a photographer happened in Venice of all places. I’d gone to Venice on a masterclass with Michael Levin, who some people may know is a successful Canadian fine art photographer. And he was doing a masterclass in Venice, which involved a lot of sort of classroom time with him and also opportunities to go out and shoot. And on the last morning, we had fog. Now, I love Venice. I’ve been to Venice six times, I will hopefully go many more. But never ever had I been lucky enough to have fog until that…
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is Rachael Talibart and what is her expertise?
Rachael Talibart is a renowned photographer known for her captivating and emotive images of the sea and coastlines. With her technical skills and artistic vision, she has established herself as a leading fine art photographer in the industry.
2. How can finding a direction for my photography benefit me?
Finding a direction for your photography allows you to define your unique style and focus on the subjects that truly inspire you. This clarity enhances your creativity, helps you stand out from the crowd, and enables you to target specific niches or genres, leading to more rewarding opportunities and increasing the chance of recognition.
3. What are some tips for finding a direction in my photography?
- Explore various genres and subjects: Experiment with different styles and subjects to discover what resonates with you the most.
- Reflect on your passion: Identify the subjects that ignite your genuine interest and evoke strong emotions within you.
- Study the work of others: Learn from renowned photographers like Rachael Talibart and analyze their techniques and choices to inspire your own style.
- Experiment and iterate: Don’t be afraid to try new techniques or perspectives, as this can lead to unexpected breakthroughs in defining your direction.
- Find your niche: Identify specific themes or genres that align with your vision and dedicate your efforts to mastering them.
4. How can I develop my own photographic style?
Developing a photographic style takes time and experimentation. Here are some steps to help you in this process:
- Take lots of photos: The more you shoot, the better you understand the visual elements you are drawn to and can refine your style.
- Review and analyze your work: Look for recurring elements, techniques, or themes that you naturally gravitate towards.
- Experiment with editing: Post-processing your images can have a significant impact on your style. Play around with different editing techniques until you find a visual aesthetic that appeals to you.
- Be consistent: Aim to create a cohesive body of work by consistently applying your style elements across your photographs.
- Seek feedback: Share your work with peers, mentors, or online communities to gather constructive criticism and gain insights on how your style is developing.
5. Can finding a direction limit my creativity?
No, finding a direction for your photography doesn’t have to limit your creativity. In fact, it can enhance it by providing focus and purpose. Having a defined direction allows you to explore your chosen subjects more deeply and develop a unique and recognizable artistic voice within that realm. It is within this focused exploration that you can truly push the boundaries of your creativity and produce outstanding work.
I hope you find useful my article Finding a Direction for your Photography (feat. Rachael Talibart), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.
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Best of luck! and follow your passion.
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