September 21, 2010

Some personal work in San Diego...

This was shot OUTSIDE of the workshops I conducted in San Diego. I have a camera with me at almost all times. Why you ask? Good question.

I talk A LOT about shooting personal work at the FILM IS NOT DEAD workshop. Why shoot personal work? To me, I feel the only way you are going to get better and refine your vision (figure out exactly what it is you want your work to say) is through shooting personal work, and shooting A LOT of it. And the most important thing to me as a photographer is my PERSONAL VOICE which is apparent in all my work. It is a reflection of who I am as a person, what I believe in, what I don't believe in, and is basically ME in photos. It is what sets me apart from the millions of other people with a camera. That being said, again, it is the MOST IMPORTANT THING TO ME AS A PHOTOGRAPHER.

Also, when I'm shooting personal work, not only am I honing my vision, I am perfecting my craft. To the point where when I show up to any paid gig, the LAST thing on my mind is technical anything. I can just show up and create. Believe it or not, I can shoot without any form of light meter and be within 1/2-1/3 stops of the exposure. How you ask? BECAUSE I AM CONSTANTLY SHOOTING and shooting the same ISO. I feel this "practice" of the elements of design/exposure/composition should be done on my own time, not on the client's dime. My goal is to make my professional work the same thing as my personal work. In other words, style wise they are exactly the same and if I did not tell you what it was from, you would never know the difference. Why should any of my photography look different? It should all have a constant theme, my voice.

It is a happy accident that the FILM IS NOT DEAD workshop acronym is FIND. Yes, the workshop I conduct is about shooting film, but more importantly, it is about helping the attendees FIND their vision. I do not want them to come to the workshop and learn how to shoot like me, that is not what I teach. That is the LAST thing I would want, and I would hope it would be the last thing THEY want. What sets you apart? The way you see the world and your ability to communicate how you see the world in your images. I show the attendees exactly how I do what I do (it's not rocket science, and if anyone leads you to believe differently, they are lying) but I try and get them to do it THEIR way and hopefully, somewhere down the road, they realize that film helps them in their vision or what they are trying to say.

Anyway, are you a photog reading this blog? Get out, grab a camera, some film, and go explore and FIND your voice. Give yourself 24/32/36 exposures to say what it is you want to say. You'll be amazed at what you'll FIND when you are picking your camera up outside of paid gigs.

Want a print for your walls? You can view more images and order prints online HERE.