For me, my chosen area of photography is street photography, a style which in recent times has exploded, probably due to it’s accessibility for anyone who has a camera, and let’s face it we all do these days.
In my opinion this explosion has unearthed some great photographers and some not so good, but has encouraged much debate about what it actually is.
For me it has certainly made things more difficult in a way. I’ve always tried to be hard on myself when it comes to making a good picture, sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t, but I always try to please myself first, my own standard, I take little notice of comments on social media etc. But of course enjoy a positive reaction like the next man.
I’m blessed to belong to this group, the conversations and debates we have about photography are truly worthwhile and encourage me to reflect on what I actually want to achieve from what I do. So why so hard for me at the moment? Well… Back to the explosion. The plethora of images out there in internet land made me realise that this journey is a long and tough one. I don’t want to take pictures like the ones I regularly see, I want something else, but of course discovering that something else is when it gets tricky.
So what do I do? Of course in this form of photography, getting out and shooting pictures is key, the more the better, and there’s certainly plenty of debate on what makes a picture fit the genre well. The decisive moment, facial expressions, gestures, telling a story, and on and on it goes. So which of these is the best way, one or all? I’d say it doesn’t matter, and that’s when my epiphany came.
All these things are of course true and important, but for me the story the picture tells isn’t always so obvious and I’m happy with that. For me I have found that the story in my pictures is often merely a reflection of who I am, over time or on that given moment. Sometimes the pictures connect with each other, sometimes they are single shots and stand alone, but they are all generally images of my story.
You see I quite like spending time alone, I like the melancholy, the happiness, the sadness, combined. I enjoy putting myself in imaginary circumstances that I simply have no experience of. Like listening to your favourite song and being in that story that can make you want to cry, or have someone feel like they’ve lost you, or living that excitement as the hero it’s nice to dream you could be.
The actual story the photograph tells, the real story is less important to me, I’d sooner the imagined. Who ,why, what, where are terms I like but not in a literal sense.
Now of course I’m writing this on the 25th September 2016, it’s how I’m interpreting time and my feelings over the recent few months. This could change in a heartbeat, who knows? I certainly don’t, oh and if in my next post the story is obvious and less imagined, well so be it.
The lesson? believe in yourself, pour your soul into what you do, and if nobody likes them, they just didn’t get where you were.
I can hear it now…”but if they don’t get it then you haven’t succeeded?” Well maybe I haven’t for them, but I did for me.
Steve Coleman – streetframe
8 Replies to “Solitude – Reflecting Myself”
Nice piece Steve,I agree that working to please yourself is the only way forward as the alternative of working to please others is a creative dead end, those who manage to achieve both personal satisfaction and the admiration of others are extremely fortunate and probably extremely persistent !
I made same conclusions…
Very good points and reflection. Fits perfectly with todays photo craze. One must find himself and make it personal and it will show in photos. Cheers
Thanks so much Yuri
Take your time… your frame will follow… Photograph is located between the private and public spheres but always remains a personal “matter” for the photographer (and also for the viewer).
Steve, street photography is cliche.
I think I know what you mean Pavel, thanks for the comment