harnessing the power of photography for good

tree of creativity

i shared the following video some time last year…i think its still funny and still thought provoking…

can you box up and market creativity?  some would have you believe that if you do as they do and say, you will be just like them…be it church methodology or photography…and the answer is NO!  you can have the latest and greatest gear out there, and a slick marketing plan w  flash-ey website…but if you cant take a good photo who cares.

i posted last year about the “tree of creativity” and how i was challenged to think more about what im taking photos of…you can read the post HERE.  kind of like the video above, if were not careful, we can get into patterns and routines as photographers…to the point of it becomes something we just “phone in.”   i will grant that there is  a certain formula to event & wedding photography, and certain shots that you need to get…like the first kiss as husband and wife!  but the trick is to find new and creative ways to get the shot your looking for.  the reality is that every event and every wedding is different.  the last thing someone wants is for their wedding photos to look like their friends wedding photos, because you had the privilege of being their photographer.

i do mean privilege.

there are lots of photographers out there.  and when you start thinking that your “the man” its over!  pack it in!

just as the “low hangin fruit” are tempting to take…it can be just as easy as a photographer to put the camera on “cruise control.”  you have your “style” and “look” that people like and thats whats getting you the business.  so why try and do things differently.   the question i ask…”is that enough?”

what matters more to me is are you having fun?  are you being challenged and stretched as a photographer?  are you merely copying someone elses “style”  or are you sincerely trying to develop your own “style?” is your way of doing things unique and creative to a point it sets you apart…

in the end as a photographer you have to be content and happy with the photos youve created.  if you are…then i dont care what anyone else says.  youve accomplished your goal of creating art, thats what photography is, that makes you happy.

recently some friends agreed to help photograph an event locally…they volunteered their time and talents for God’s glory.  they were asked to give their photos over in RAW file format so all the photos taken by all the volunteer photographers could be edited to look the same.  at first glance i didnt think to much of it.  but as i thought about what we do as photographers, it comes down to creative control and freedom to take photographs in a manner that is consistent with your own personal vision and style.

i believe that if your being paid to photograph an event or wedding, for another photographer, under the umbrella of that photographer…then yes.  your shooting for them.

but when your volunteering your time, sharing your gifts and skills as a photographer, you should be allowed to maintain a certain amount of creative control.  after all its what you see through the lens, and a vision you have that your trying to capture in the camera.  to be asked to give of your time and talents, then be asked to give up all creative control of your images…i dont think i like that…i believe that this is contrary to who we are as photographers…  part of the beauty of photography is 3 photographers can look at the same tree, and come up with 3 different photographs of that same tree.  the tree may look different in all 3 photos…but its still the same tree.

i know others have discussed this same issue of creative control over the years…and its not likely to be solved anytime soon.  but its something that needs to be talked about and i think is healthy to talk about…what do yall think?


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