I remember reading an extract from the book “Fast Track Photographer” where the photographer stated that most photographers compete in the photography market and fail to compete in the photography market. What he was simply saying is that some people are caught up in selling a photograph while others know what photograph the can produce and instead sell a brand which guarantees a particular quality of photograph. How does this relate to the title of this post? Let me explain.
Well, creating your own style of photographs as opposed to photographing just what appeals to the market creates an exclusive audience. It creates an audience who finds appeal in the sort of photographs you produce and that ensures a market for your photography and allows you to set a price on your photographs beyond those who compete in the photography market.
However, creating generically appealing photos which appeal to almost anyone creates an issue. You are no longer exclusive, your photographs can be duplicated by anyone on the street so there is nothing which ensures your position in the market unless you take some exceptional photographs. And, limits what and how much you can charge for your photographs.
So if you want to really compete in the market you have to figure out what really makes your photographs stand out in the crowd and capitalize on that otherwise you will not be selling to your market. You will be selling to a more general, less exclusive market.
For the next four months I am going to be involved in collecting photos for a new section of my portfolio. This section will be devoted to winter.
Winter holds its own unique beauty – its own special attractions. I hope to capture some of that magic of that season and present in pictures. I will be sure to post again when I have collected the shots.
Ever look at a magazine cover and you are immediately awestruck but after the third review the photo has lost its impact. But then, there are some photographs you see in some magazines or calendars which are always able to spur your emotions no matter how many times you see it? That is a timeless photograph.
We have seen many examples of these photographs. Dorothea Lange gave us “Migrant Mother”; Ansel Adams gave us “Moonrise, Hernandez, Mexico”; Garry Winogrand gave us some visually amazing photographs, some if which were untitled. Despite the fact that these photos were taken long ago, these photos have a quality which continues to make them worthy of admiration and review. What is this quality/qualities that make these images enduring?
Is it the monochromatic tone, the composition, the quality of light, the fresh point of view? Perhaps it is all of the above. Certainly the photographer’s excelled at those areas and in many more and provided us with a new way of seeing things. A vision which has endured for decades without fading.
In spite of the flood of photographs I see being produced by amateur and professional alike, few tend to have that timeless quality of the masters. My argument here is not that the photograph needs to be black and white or made with a medium format camera or made everyday. But, I think more photographers need to think a little more of what they are shooting when they look through the viewfinder in making a photograph which fits their vision.
I have recently discovered the WordPress app for the iPhone/iPod and realized that my location no longer dictates where
I blog. I don’t have to lug around my laptop nor do I have to look specifically for an internet ready location equipped with desktop. Instead, armed with my iPod and the deviously clever but persistently buggy wordpress app, I will be able to share ideas related to photography while on location.
It is certainly convenient and gives me an opportunity to blog when it is needed the most, when I am inspired.