Growing up in a “Religious Church” was a lot like the video above. If you can’t see the video click here. Created by Vintage21.com
I didn’t post this video to mock Jesus, or the church, but to give you an idea of what growing up in a religious environment was like. RULES… Rules.. I am being watched by Jesus all the time. Church was about Rules. Getting into heaven is about following all the rules.
Now what does this have to do with photography?
I always thought running a successful business meant following all the rules!
A few of the rules I thought I had to follow:
1. Whites must be white and Blacks must be black.
2. Photographs must be printed from a lab.
3. In order to get seniors you must send out a million senior fliers.
4. All brides book their vendors at bridal shows so I must be at every one.
5. Nikon is for the Devil and anything besides Canon is only imitation.
6. Boys must be posed to look like girls, and girls must be posed to look like Super Models.
7. Only beautiful looking studios sell beautiful looking portraits.
8. Etc.. Etc..
I have tried over the years to follow all the rules in hopes of being successful. The problem lies in the fact that in order for me to follow all the rules I had to be fake. I had to not follow what my heart was telling me. Following the rules was only causing me to follow the others in line for the “Koolaid” of a successful business.
I am not jumping off the deep end and going to break every rule I have ever been taught about photography, but I am striving to be authentic. Authentic meaning to me is to be real with myself. No fake fronts, or compromised solutions. Being real in photography to me is shooting with my heart. Capturing the “Authentic” people in front of the lens. Capturing the “Real World” around me.
Photographers across the world try to be different, only to be the same most of the time. Using fake solutions to make the best “fake portrait”. I read in scripture “There is nothing new under the sun”. As a photographer I know that there is always a new way of looking at those. If everyone would shoot with their heart, every photograph would be different. Break the rules if it will be of the heart, not just to break the rules.
As the religion of the church has killed itself, the religion of photography is doing the same. Setting the rules, bashing those who don’t follow them, and then telling us what we should and should not be doing is the cancer of the religion, not the solution. Its time to throw away the religion of photography. Be real, be authentic and photograph the world through your eyes, and your heart.
What rules did you learn about photography?
How are these rules killing your photography?
Where this blog post was inspired