Babygrand in Film
Art can inspire. It can make you think. It can make you angry. It can make you transcend. From the early years of the Neanderthal man beating on trees to producers making beats using digital instruments, art will always be here to stay.
This blog is an accumulation of things both past and present and being an artist, sometimes it’s about going back to the basics in order to truly understand why I love what I love. I shoot beautiful models, beautiful clothing, beautiful scenes. I use high-end $20,000+ cameras and equally expensive lights. I teach others to go into themselves in order to bring the best out of them. But guess what makes me the most happy? Taking out a dusty old Mamiya medium format film camera and walking the streets capturing a moment in time and when a someone says: “thank you for showing me the way.”
Because of the digital era (be it music, photography, movies), we are constantly (and sometimes violently) moving forward at such an incredible pace for instant gratification that we take the learning curve and toss it aside. We take the craft and theory and throw it out the window and we let our friends tell us just how wonderful we are and we sit on a cushion of self importance thinking “yeah, I’m the shit.”
I remember when I decided to take the professional plunge. I was snapping my photographs with the confidence of Peter Lindbergh, the eye of Helmut Newton and the savvy of Richard Avedon. My friends and family would praise my work and tell me just how wonderful my work was and in my little artistic vortex I believed them. But then I would show the same images to my teachers/mentors and with each photograph, they would chip away at my superego just to let me know that “Dallas, you AIN’T the shit” and after being knocked down a notch or two, I would go back to the drawing board in order to make it better the next go around. This practice continues even today (well not with the friends and family so much, they love me and now are even harder on me) but with my esteemed colleagues and professional peers, because I learned something recently: you will always be better than those who can’t do what you do. It’s when you enter an arena with like-minded equally talented individuals where you realize if your artistry and craft can really stand on its own.
I preach the gospel of “this is YOUR art and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise,” however, there is another side of that coin: “you can always make your art better.” Be it taking a class (or taking a beating), because it forces you to sit back and evaluate who you really are, what you are and why you are the way you are. It doesn’t matter if you are a painter, a singer, a model or a brick layer. It should always be your destiny to be the best you can possibly be, because a better you will make a better me (you may not get that right now, but one day you will).
I don’t know a lot about life, I just know enough to where it made me the person I am today, and because of that, I am able to help the next person become the better person they are today. It may be as simple as listening. It may be as simple as showing. It may be as simple as knowing all the answers and being smart enough to shut up and let them figure it out for themselves (and offering that helping hand when needed).
My quest for today isn’t about being better than you. It’s about being better than me.
Think about it.