Is it fair to say that professional photographers are artists? If so, why is that the case? Why are their shots genuine artwork while the nonprofessionals among us can’t manage to do anything but take pictures? Technically speaking, all photographs are just pictures. But there is a difference between the pictures you and I take, and the pieces of art produced by professionals.
Much of that difference is found in how professional photographers view their own pictures. To create genuine artwork, the photographer has to look beyond the technical aspects of photography. They have to get beyond all the things they can control and start embracing what they can’t control. It’s not easy but it is worth the effort.
The Trap of Technical Photography
You and I taking pictures with our phones do not tend to worry about the technical aspects of photography all that much. We take a few weeks to get to know the basic settings we have to work with before firing away. Most of our pictures come out okay, some do not. It really doesn’t matter because we can just keep taking shots until we’re happy.
Professional photographers are not so careless. They are more concerned about the technical aspects of their craft. They have to be. Nonetheless, the trap of technical photography is being unable to see the artwork. In other words, photographers can get so obsessed with the technical details that they find themselves unable to produce photographs they are happy with.
This is common among new professionals. Having graduated from photography school, they are now looking to land those first paid clients. Having paid clients makes all the difference in the world. These new professionals are not merely trying to make a professor happy; they now have clients to make happy as well.
Looking for0z What’s Wrong
The trap of technical photography is constantly looking at what is wrong. Every shot is followed by a few minutes of analysis on the digital screen. The photographer looks at everything from angle to shadows. They are looking for things they can fix with an adjustment here or there.
The problem with this approach is that it too easily becomes an endless cycle of shooting and fixing. It gets to the point where the photographer hates their own pictures. They might even cause clients to lose faith in their abilities.
Looking for what’s wrong with a shot is an open invitation to never be happy. Why? Because you can always find something that looks wrong. If you are looking for it, you will find it. But what other choice does a professional photographer have? Looking for what’s right.
Seeing through the Customer’s Eyes
Vargo Photography is a commercial photography studio based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their approach to photography involves trying to see through the customer’s eyes. Photos are not examined in hopes of uncovering what’s wrong. They are examined in search for what is right.
This approach gives a photographer the freedom to see each shot as an opportunity to improve on the last one. It is an approach that seeks to take the good things and make them better. It offers the opportunity to view photographs for what they are – images that will evoke a certain reaction in the minds of those who see them.
Without the constraints of photography’s technical aspects, photographers can turn their attention from taking professor-pleasing pictures to creating genuine artwork. That is when the real magic happens. It happens when the technical aspects are kept in the proper perspective with the understanding that there is no such thing as the perfect shot.