Creativity, the Artist, Vision, and Me

Matt Brandon posted an article just before Christmas that I read today about the photographer as artist, and where inspiration comes from. He linked in a Joe McNally article that I had read when he published it back on the 15th of Dec. It was reading Joe’s article that I decided that I need to scrap trying to get paid to take pictures and try to find ways to get great experience doing things I like to do, to both enjoy photography, and get some portfolio building stuff. Besides, I need to learn to be able to take pictures that would be worth charging for.

Matt’s post was interesting too. Before I started to consider myself a “photographer”, I don’t think I would have considered a photographer as an artist. Looking at others photography, and knowing now what can go into the picture taking, and the picture processing, I can definitely see others as artists. I have a friend that tries to call me an artist, and it just doesn’t sound right. I don’t see myself as an artist. I am trained as a technical person, and don’t really do “artsy” things. I came at photography from wanting to take pictures of my kids, and digital photography because I like toys I can use with computers, and becuase I hate getting pictures developed for the time and expense of it. Something has happened along the way though, and I have come to love photography for the photography part. My wife even tells me I don’t take as many pictures of my kids as I used to with a point and shoot.

I talk lots of different pictures now. Macro stuff, flowers, night exposures, landscapes, etc. But, and artist? I don’t think of myself as uncreative. I am the guy the other technical people turn to when they need site design, or graphics help. But, and artist? I am not sure why I resist it. I have accepted the label of photographer, but maybe I don’t feel that my pictures are yet good enough to get the artist label? Maybe. Maybe it is because I don’t feel that I draw on the artists creative well to drive my picture taking. I don’t even know what that is.

Matt and David talk a lot about vision. I am on a quest to understand really what that means. They make it sound like it is just something you have, that you use, that comes out in your pictures. Is this what artists draw from? Is this what artists want the world to see in their work? Both? I don’t know where to draw the creativity from within me. I know that I have some, I have great ideas, and am left handed for goodness sakes!¬† I don’t know what I want to say with my photographs. I just seem to like taking them, and get a kick when others like what I have done. There sure isn’t an overriding theme to my pictures.

What is really interesting is that both Matt and McNally talked about hitting a dry spell. Well, that would be me as well. I haven’t really taken many pictures this fall/winter (other than a few of family). I used to shoot every day, and wanted to go out and just walk around and see what I could take a picture of. So what changed, or dried up? Good question. It is not that I have technically perfected taking pictures. It is not that I can always get an image from my mind to the camera. So where did the passion go from a couple of months ago? That is probably why most of the recent posts have been about Javascript, and my flickr account has seen one new image since Halloween.

It is hard to systimatically get back on track when you don’t know where your creativity came/comes from, or what you vision is, or wants to be.