change - [cheynj] –verb
To make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one's name; to change one's opinion; to change the course of history.
Life is about change. It is about growth. It is about transformation. It is about evolution. Remember, either you evolve or you die. You can take this figuratively or literally. If a human-being doesn’t learn to change, form and adapt they die (think of a baby). If someone has a career, product or service, if they don’t evolve, they die (look at WordPerfect…). If you as an artist don’t grow and evolve over time, guess what? You will die as well. (Pick any artist of the 80s) So your whole life inside and out is about change and growth and that is the message of this blog today.
When I would look at photographers’ work, I would marvel at how the “biggies” evolved with their styles, talents, techniques and technology. When the Richard Avedon exhibit was in New York, I was amazed at the wonders of his photography and manipulation of negatives and prints (the precursor to Photoshop) to when he picked up a digital camera and moved along with the times. Could he have stayed with shooting film? Of course. He was (and still is) one of our film producing masters, however, he knew back then that when the digital world took hold, he had to shit or give off the proverbial pot. He chose the former and we are so much better for it today.
As a photographer and artist, for those who know me over the span of my life, I was always one to embark on something and give it my myopic obsessive all. I’ve studied and got my degree in classical music, I’ve traveled the globe as a singer. I’ve moved along with the vocal tides of the world’s changing music. I crossed over into health and fitness and began a career as a personal trainer for a short time. It was the same when I picked up the camera. It was an artistic tool for me to pick up and transform whatever I saw in front of me. I remember when I took my very first “professional” image (at the time, for me professional was not necessarily getting paid per se, but about to take a photographic image and knew what the hell I was doing). I was up and well on my way and through the influence of all things around me, like other photographers I began to develop a photographic style. Of those of you who know me, it developed into a very slick, glossy, vibrant expressive style (the kind of work you would see on campaigns). My lighting is intriguing, almost cinemagraphic in its approach and when people would ask me about my lighting, they would marvel at the simplicity of it. Photographers are about smoke and mirrors. It is our job to create an illusion that we want you to see. I got an incredible crew in place and we produce wondrous images.
But you get to a point where you go “been there, done that” and you have to go about making changes in yourself for yourself. I’ve seen photographers work I’ve admired two – three years ago and I view their work today, and guess what? Nothing has changed. It is still the same images they took yester-year. The same thing that would originally draw you to an image is now boring, mundane and lackluster. I realize that if I want to be successful in this business, I have to get on the bandwagon and go about changing my photographic style, yet, still keeping the true essence of Dallas in the mix.
How does one go about this? It may be something as simple as a lighting set up. All photographers have a signature lighting set up. If they tell you otherwise, they are lying. Some are so secretive about it, that they won’t even let you on their shoots. So you may change your lighting set up. You may change the angle in which you shoot. You may change the type of models you photograph, the styles of the garments, the way you wish to have hair and makeup done. It may take place in the post production. Whatever it is. It is about change. Not everyone is going to like it, and you know what? So what. Not everyone will like what you are doing now. But if you don’t challenge yourself and evolve, you and your talent will die. Those that were hot a few years ago are not so hot now. Think about it.
I’m moving onward and upward towards change. It is scary, it is exciting and it is new. And I am going to love every minute of it.
Talk amongst yourselves.
Over the years...
Wait and see...