Why do we shoot?

37 posts
16 April 2013
hoodoo
Photographer
hoodoo
Not a portfolio review, done that, didn't enjoy it one bit, but very related.

After reading portfolio reviews on here I wondered – apart from money – why do you take photos? are they solely for personal pleasure or to gain praise from others? If it is personal pleasure then why do we show them of on the internet and ask for comments and reviews?

Am I looking to deeply into this? probably, discuss…

Posted 16 April 2013
Edited by hoodoo 16 April 2013
bryonyphotography
Photographer
bryonyphotog..
I think everyone posts they're images and asks for critique for their own reasons. However, i do think that they fit into two , maybe three, broad categories (and you can quite easily tell who is in what category)

There are :

1. people who actually want to improve and are asking the input of people they can learn from. These tend to be more structured questions, or in relation to a specific set of images.

2. people looking for validation. These are the people who post for a portfolio review by saying simply "review my port" and then are thoroughly annoyed when they don't get entirely glowing feedback.

3. The people who want to check the validity of someone else's comment. normally begins with a statement followed by a question.
e.g.. "my friend said that selective colour was cheesy and outdated and that i shouldn't be charging clients when i don't know what aperture means. Is this true? what does aperture mean?" People from group 3 can be more generally categorised into 1 or 2.

Posted 16 April 2013
Hugh
Photographer
Hugh
Some people do it for money... good reason.

Some people do it so they can look at naked chicks... good reason.
There are far worse, and far more expensive hobbies... golf is expensive and dull, fishing is uncomfortable and dull, racing anything is expensive.

Some do it because they like cameras and other shiny toys... good reason.

Some do it because they like winning things... you see a lot of that in camera clubs.

Some people have a need to create art... doesn't mean it's good art or bad art.
If you have that drive, you don't have much choice about it.
Life is probably a bit easier if you don't have the need to create art.
If you don't have it, it's fairly difficult to understand why people do it.
Art without an audience is a bit meaningless.
If you can reach a sympathetic audience that understands what you're trying to do, that's even better.

Posted 16 April 2013
Socialdisaster
Photographer
Socialdisast..
I lead a particular lifestyle and my photos are an extension of that lifestyle. I enjoy producing what I produce, because it reflects how I am, by and large.

Plus, it's one of my creative outlets.

I dont look or ask for any validation, from anyone. Never have, never will, so long as it pleases me, that's good enough.

Posted 16 April 2013
Sacredo
Photographer
Sacredo
Hugh
Art without an audience is a bit meaningless.
Is it? What part does the audience play?
Posted 16 April 2013
Hugh
Photographer
Hugh
Sacredo
Is it? What part does the audience play?
Is art about communication? or just decoration?
Posted 16 April 2013
Alan_Jay
Photographer
Alan_Jay
There are probably lots of reasons.  However for me it is about a creative/artistic outlet.  (yes I know some dislike the artistic thing).
I cannot draw, most 5 year olds draw better than I do;  I cannot play a musical instument or sing,  in fact I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket!  At primary school, where everyone had to do something in music,  I was given the triangle.....no striker,  just the triangle!

Pre internet, I shared my images with photographer friends mainly,  shortly followed by the other members of a camera club.  There I was 'encouraged' to enter the club competitions and found the judges' comments really useful.  Winning competitions wasn't exactly unpleasant,  but the amount I learnt during that time was amazing.  In one competition, judged here and in Australia, one judge scored at the high end the other judge scored it at the low end,  but their comments were all useful.
I also recall a judge who just didn't like my work.  Having had all three of my entries slated by him, an older member of the club told me to ignore him.  Instead, I bought him a cup of tea and asked if he could give me some pointers to improve.  My photography improved almost overnight.  

Internet portfolios are mostly about showing potential models what sort/genre of image I'm planning for shoots.

I find photography also gives me a way of relaxing away from the hassle of a high pressure job.  I love catching something that only existed for a second,  even if it meant waiting half an hour!  I enjoy studio shoots where the interaction of two creative minds, (model and photographer), can take an idea off on a tangent and create some good, unplanned images.

Oh!  Its also the cheapest of my hobbies!
Posted 17 April 2013
Socialdisaster
Photographer
Socialdisast..
Hugh
Is art about communication? or just decoration?
Can only assume you have no artistic need in you. Historically people have created art because they want to, need to, it's an outlet. Historically most "famous" artists were unknown most of their lives, but they never stopped, because they needed to create. The person sitting in their bedroom playing a guitar 12 hours a day needs to do it. It's only modern culture where people have added a need to explain themselves. true art is made only because we can. It isn't about communication, it isn't about decoration, it's about the artist needing to get that art out of them. Anything else is secondary.
Posted 17 April 2013
Socialdisaster
Photographer
Socialdisast..
Alan_Jay
Internet portfolios are mostly about showing potential models what sort/genre of image I'm planning for shoots.
This, don't mistake the presence of a portfolio as a need for an audience, it's a means to end for many. We need models, models need to see what we can do, but the pictures are not created for the models, that's simply a by product.
Posted 17 April 2013
Hugh
Photographer
Hugh
Socialdisaster
Can only assume you have no artistic need in you.
Posted 17 April 2013
Gerry99111
Photographer
Gerry99111
Socialdisaster

This, don't mistake the presence of a portfolio as a need for an audience, it's a means to end for many. We need models, models need to see what we can do, but the pictures are not created for the models, that's simply a by product.


+1

My portfolio is primarily designed to make models I wish to work with really keen to work with me in some of the genres dipicted. It is not an accurate or balanced view of all the work I shoot or what I am most pleased with.

I have also been known to select pictures for my portfolio that may give models I am unlikely to want to shoot with a hint that they are probably better off contacting someone else.surprise

My port is not necessarily my favourite work or work I think hits a particular standard. Some of the pictures may fit these two catagories but only because they may pull the right models in.

I get feedback on my work from individuals and only in a limited way through the internet. I don't generally partake in portfolio reviews as people will be judging the pictures on the wrong criteria. Models seldom critique work in public in a way that would be useful to me.
Posted 17 April 2013
Edited by Gerry99111 17 April 2013
Hugh
Photographer
Hugh
Gerry99111
My portfolio is primarily designed to make models I wish to work with really keen to work with me in some of the genres dipicted. It is not an accurate or balanced view of all the work I shoot or what I am most pleased with.
Yep.
Posted 17 April 2013
OldMaster
Photographer
OldMaster
Simple question but probably not a simple answer as it will be different for different people.

I guess also there are two categories although some will fall into both. The professional who does it for money, but there must have been a reason that photography was chosen as a career path and those that do it for leisure.

I think most people have "hobbies". As members of the human race it seems it is not enough just to survive on a daily basis and we have to feed other desires. In some ways the pro who is stuck in the rut of endlessly shooting the same subject often envies the freedom of those that are at liberty to explore their imagination at their own pace.

The final result is just proof of the process and the technical creation of the final image may be as fascinating to some as the initial taking stages. I certainly enjoy exploring photoshop as much as I did dark room..an endless learning curve.

So, why post them on here? Well, I dismiss the remarks made by some who claim to have no interest in other's comments. Any considered work that one has produced the author is bound to have some sensitivity as to how the work is perceived. Of course it need not be taken too seriously or to heart, but your picture, if it is to have value, should tell a story and to some extent feedback is welcome reinforcement of success or failure..no man or woman is an island!! Of equal relevance of course, apart from having work for models to see, is the sharing of ideas. I know I have learned a lot over time just looking at other photographer's work both on here, other sites, exhibitions and books from the "greats" across many decades. We learn from sharing, a germ of an idea combined with inspiration and the process of creation can begin?

This of course puts me back on my hobby horse of wondering why so many do choose to produce endless repetitive male fantasy clichés of the way men perceive woman..how much "glamour" does any one site need!! Which brings me to the question..

Why do YOU shoot!!!?


Posted 17 April 2013
Bob
Photographer
Bob
hoodoo

Why do we shoot?

Because I can. Seemples!

Posted 17 April 2013
hoodoo
Photographer
hoodoo
thanks guys, I suppose, for me, it's the artistic/creative outlet that I so desire and need in my life, I go through creative frustration quite a lot, but even though it's a personal outlet, being truthful, I post online to get some kind of acknowledgement for my art.

But saying that I still think 60% of photographers are just perving over girls!

Posted 17 April 2013
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