Are you tired of feeling pressured to conform to the standards set by others in the photography world? Do you find yourself questioning your own creative instincts and self-worth as a photographer? It’s time to break free from the labelmakers and gatekeepers and focus on what truly brings you joy – photographing what makes you happy. In this blog, we will explore the importance of ignoring the expectations and judgments of others and embracing your own unique vision and style. By prioritizing your own happiness and creative fulfillment, you will not only improve as a photographer but also find a sense of authenticity and fulfillment in your work. So grab your camera and join us on this journey of self-discovery and artistic expression.
Photograph what makes you Happy (Ignore the Labelmakers and Gatekeepers)
Why I Don’t Stick to a Topic or Genre
If you’ve followed this channel for a while, you’ll notice that I don’t really stick to a specific topic or genre. I have made videos on portraits, landscapes, food photography, product photography, and even collaborated with abstract, seascape, woodland, self-portrait, and street photographers. I have also provided tutorials on various aspects of editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as filmmaking techniques such as shooting b-roll and color grading footage. This deliberate choice allows me to explore and learn from different styles and techniques.
The Importance of Building a Varied Skill Set
When people ask me what type of photographer I am, it’s difficult to give them a straightforward answer because I have not focused exclusively on one area. While portrait photography is my first love, I have also worked extensively as a product photographer and have dabbled in street photography, among others. I believe in building a broad skill set that allows me to work in different contexts as a photographer. This approach has opened up numerous opportunities throughout my career.
Defying Neat Categories and Labels
I resist the pressure to neatly categorize my work because there are many aspects of photography that I enjoy exploring, which do not fit into traditional labels. People are often quick to impose labels or question the legitimacy of certain genres, resulting in the fear of deviating from the norm. Some have even criticized my headshot photography for not conforming to their idea of what headshot photography should be. Similarly, if I use Photoshop techniques in my work, there are those who argue that it is no longer photography but rather digital art.
Embracing Individuality and Non-conformity
Despite the expectations and criticisms, I have learned to protect my space as a photographer. By refusing to conform to others’ expectations, I can continue to shoot, explore, and experiment as widely as I’m inclined to. I no longer attempt to fit into specific boxes or categories, and instead proudly declare myself as “just a photographer” to defy the pressure to conform.
The Pitfalls of Labelmakers and Gatekeepers
Photography can become unnecessarily complicated due to labelmakers and gatekeepers who try to define what constitutes “real” photography or impose technical terms as benchmarks for legitimacy. This behavior acts as a barrier for aspiring photographers, discouraging creativity and experimentation. These gatekeepers attempt to control the photography space and often require others to conform to their arbitrary rules to be considered “legitimate.”
Rejecting the Judgment of Gatekeepers
It is crucial to reject the judgments and expectations of gatekeepers in the photography world. Their attempts to impose strict guidelines and definitions hinder individuality and creativity. As someone who has experienced confusion and frustration at the start of my photography journey, I aim to save others from falling into the trap of conforming to labels and boxes. Let us shine a light on the unlimited possibilities of photography and encourage personal expression, regardless of labels, genres, or technical terms.
FAQ – Photograph what makes you Happy (Ignore the Labelmakers and Gatekeepers)
Q: Can I photograph anything that makes me happy?
A: Absolutely! Your happiness is personal and unique, so capture whatever brings you joy through photography.
Q: Are there any specific subjects or themes I should focus on?
A: Not at all! The beauty of photography lies in its diversity. You’re free to explore any subject or theme that resonates with you.
Q: How can I improve my photography skills?
A: The key to improvement is practice! Dedicate time to shooting regularly, experiment with different techniques, and seek inspiration from other photographers.
Q: What if others criticize or downplay my photography?
A: Don’t let negative opinions discourage you! Remember that photography is subjective, and your art should reflect your unique perspective and happiness.
Q: Should I compare my photography to others’ work?
A: While it’s natural to seek inspiration from other photographers, avoid falling into the trap of constant comparison. Focus on your own growth and creative expression.
I hope you find useful my article Photograph what makes you Happy (Ignore the Labelmakers and Gatekeepers), 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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