Many times I’ve been asked by non-professional practitioners of photography how I create my distinctive imagery. This post is dedicated to providing some answers…
To be clear there are two types of creativity I wish to discuss here, the planned creation, (commercial assignment) and the “I must do it today”, creation (personal). Self-imposed deadlines are crucial for they train me to work within client-driven deadlines with a minimum of stress.
1) On days I feel compelled to create for my book, I make a worthy attempt as soon as possible for I won’t be right inside until I do. When I was younger I fought against this urge. I don’t anymore because it became unhealthy (emotionally and intellectually) for me to ignore this creative drive. Money and sales will come in due time, I don’t fancy putting the cart before the horse anymore.
2) Once I accept that today is the day to create, I plow ahead and begin my creative process. For example: I recently spent time in Lake Tahoe, CA. The views of the lake from the house we were staying at were remarkable. After several successful photos during the day and evening, I knew I had to get up early and shoot a sunrise photo and stay up very late to shoot an evening series to round out the collection.
3) Actually do the work. With joy in my heart and an eye towards the finished image. I don’t filter at this stage, I just make my exposures in as many flavors of shutter speed and aperture combinations as I deem appropriate.
4) ASAP I look at the images and begin the assembly process. Since I’ve already gotten my image hit while shooting (page one of my book), all I’m doing is shuffling the files into the vision I desire.
5) On commercial assignment work the difference in working through the creative process is that I’m working towards a vision the client has imparted to me. I check their ideas against the production issues and deadlines and if all goes well, I deliver an image as solid as any in my portfolio. All the previous steps are the same whether for myself or clients.
Happy New Year from Lake Tahoe, CA.