Friday, 3 July 2015

The Trender Trap

My Dad had a favorite saying:
There's no prize for seconds

In 2015 there is a clearly identifiable pattern with photographers, in particular with cashed-up Australian photographers; the carbon-copying of another photographer's subject and style.
These Photocopiers live in a haze of disillusioned self-belief. They mistakenly believe if:

  • they buy an expensive camera
  • fit an expensive lens
  • study the images of a photographer who won praise 2, 5, 10 or 20 years ago
  • find the same face or identical location of said photographer 
  • use the same post-production techniques
  • mimick the same style
that they too will achieve the same glory of the award winning photographer.

Its unlikely to happen because its already been done and copied by hundreds if not thousands of other photographers.

What you need are IDEAS. Your OWN ideas. 

You can't buy ideas. You can't steal ideas. You need to create your own ideas.

But there are things you can do to help create ideas. You can dream, you can chat with inspirational people (not necessarily photographers), you can observe people especially kids at play, you can take time off and observe nature at work, you can exploit the FULL range of settings on your camera.

Just recently a colleague of mine expressed disappointment because her 'flower' photographs had failed in a major competition. I looked at them and my heart sank. Technically, they were accurate. But they were dead boring images of a sharp flower in the middle of the frame. I suggested she freeze her flowers in water and photograph them in the various stages of thawing out. She looked shocked but tried out the technique. I am confident the judges will not be bored with her new images.

I recommend you look at trends, observe them, study them and then AVOID them.

Think for yourself. Think from left field. Come up with your own ideas, not someone else's.

If you want to be challenged photographically and learn how to unleash creative ideas check out one of Dale Neill's UWA Extension workshops.

There's AU$12,000 in cash and prizes for the taking in the Photographic Competion the world is coming to love. Click FiPP2015.



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