I’ve been very into levitation photos recently. I blame my “feather picture” for making that such an easy and exciting train to hop onto. So, a couple of days ago when I tried to do a handstand for the first time in months and didn’t totally fail, taking a photo with that pose was the first thing that came to mind.
Thus, this photo was born.
While editing, however, I ran into a problem. This photo was just born because I found out I could do a cool pose. I had no other story to tell or way to make it interesting.
This happens sometimes. It’s mostly when you’re trying to get out of a block so you’re just making photos because there’s some good lighting or you got a new photogenic dress. Surprisingly, this photo wasn’t to get out of a block at all. It was just me being unprepared and excited.
It also made me strongly question:
Are we lazy?
Two reasons I wonder that.
One, I know I am not the only photographer who shoots to shoot sometimes. It’s a part of the creative process. Especially when you’re doing a photo project you simply need to take photos. But, how effective is it? Does it teach us how to be more creative or does it teach us how to be lazy? Is the pro to building a story up after the photo is taken stronger than the con to not having a clear image while shooting?
And sort of in the same breath, are we allowed to use the same material as previous photos?
I took this photo in November as a part of a three-part series I was doing (which, just by the way, I had clean images in mind for each photo, and in return it made the series pretty easy).
When you look at the two photos, you can obviously tell that the most prominent feature is the pieces of paper. Of course your eye first goes to the subject, but the thing that makes these photos interesting is the paper.
These photos have two completely different meanings. The first one is about restless sleeping. The second one is about heartache. Completely different ends of the spectrum but does that mean that I should have taken separate photos of the paper? How many more times will I say paper!?
Does using material from different shoots make us lazy?
Photography is different for everybody. If we were to try to get into the argument of making things too easy, someone would pop out of the bushes with a 35mm film camera and start screaming about darkrooms. The truth is, photography as it is now, we do have it easy. And in ten years, those photographers will have it even easier (and we can pop out of the bushes screaming about copyright and 64gb SD cards).
But, the ease that we have at our fingertips is beautiful. It makes whatever we want to do completely possible. I don’t think we’re lazy. I think sometimes you need to explore photography differently and push your limits. Make a photo without much depth in the beginning to test yourself and see if you can make it interesting without having a concept in your mind. The best thing anyone can do is keep learning, so keep pushing yourself to learn. Also, push yourself to see what your boundaries are.
Maybe for you, using the same material from one different shoot for a photo is completely insane. I learned that for me, it’s not. What else I learned is that I actually do strongly prefer at least a vague idea of what the end-result photo will look like. We all have our preferences. Stick to yours, stick to your gut. Whatever feels right to you is completely right.
Spread love. xoxo