Minimalism, Marie Kondo, tidying up, goodbye things, less is more. You might have heard of these things if you have ever scrolled through Netflix or Youtube. You might have even come across a few articles on social media referring to decluttering or getting rid of your stuff, or simple living. Minimalism is becoming a social movement, culturally recognised. We have a lot of items in our lives that don’t bring value (daily joy). I would like to enlighten you if I may about adopting this movement into your photography and to try photographing with less.
I have two words for you Bullet Journal. Now you might be thinking what does journaling have to do with photography. One is writing and note taking, the other is making photographs and being creative. Photography takes a lot of technical know-how, as well as creativity. Creativity requires expression, ideas and a medium to showcase your thoughts and vision. Taking notes, be it in a notebook, iPhone, journal or napkin, reinforces your thoughts and ideas. Notes can help to achieve tasks. Whenever you get an idea you run the risk of losing it if you don’t write it down. The Yin and Yan world of photography is left and right brain-dependent, balancing creativity and productivity, which fits perfectly with Bullet Journaling.
Straight off the bat, this sounds counter-intuitive. After all its through practising and doing that progresses our skills as a photographer, this is true. In contrast, stepping away from the camera or putting it down, I have noticed something that wasn’t there before and that skill helped improve how I photographed.
It has been bugging me for a while now, there is just something that is missing from photography. From my personal work to the majority of photographers out there. I’m talking about the photos on your feeds, be it personal to commercial. It has been bugging me and I finally found out what it is, what is missing from photography, is stories.
When most people think of the word Zen, a meditating monk in a monastery comes to mind, a practice of enlightenment, a person being in the present or someone without attachments. When I think of Zen, I think of a lifestyle that has profoundly influenced my photography practice. I would like to dive into the ways of zen photography and how it might enlighten your creative practice.
I just read a book covering the benefits of nature and how it helps improve human health among many other claims. I’m sure many of you would question or speculate on the validity of these claims and I did too. One thing I did read that interested me, taking a walk in nature, away from the noises and sights of the city along with the absence of digital screens, improves creativity.
I’ve been thinking about photography and personal style and the different ways to teach it. I’m trying to help, share and guide people along their way in finding their unique photographic style. Seeing if I can find that quick fix, that beaten path someone else has already made for us.
I’ve been emailed by quite a few people asking very specific questions, going into the micro of details to understand and improve their methods, process and photos. These people that have been asking me questions are intently focusing on the 1% details instead of trying to improve the fundamentals that make up 99% of a photography.
Finding your way in photography takes a few things and many different ones. Finding your way requires your views and thoughts on the world. From past experiences that shaped how you perceive, to the minutiae discussions and advice you’ve chosen to take onboard. Finding your way in photography is just that, your way.
Finding your personal photography style
So how do I find my photography style? Let me tell you that finding your personal photographic style is like finding Zen or the Holy Grail to photographers, it rarely happens with a quick 15-minute tutorial. For a lot of photographers, it can be a never ending struggle. I have found the key that unlocks the door to your photography style. This door, or should I say process and formula isn’t for everyone, but it worked for me and it might fast track the journey for you.