I'm taking this month's blog post to talk about my new approach to my photography. Considering December is always a busy month, of parties, family hangouts, and lots of food, I decided not to conduct an interview with anyone outside of my own work. Whenever another year ends, it's an excellent time to sit back, look back at your work, and contemplate if it needs a fresh approach.
That's exactly what I did. I reserved some time throughout the month of December, to go through all of my master files, day by day, month by month, and year by year. It's a tedious, time consuming, frustrating, but incredibly rewarding experience. In my case, I had the opportunity to look back at photos I took five years ago, and take a whole new perspective to it. That's what I love about art, especially photography, you have the opportunity to look at older work, and ask yourself, "could this be approached another way?". I changed my entire philosophy about the editing process of my photography. While plowing through all of my photos, I decided to pick a select few, so I could re-edit, re-post on social media, and build a strong portfolio of my personal work.
What is personal work, for me? Personal work is my photography that usually falls in the landscape-street-architecture categories of photography. The moment where I take a drive, take a few photos of some scenes (sometimes during my travels), and post it online. This kind of work may produce some sales through prints, or you can build a strong exhibition with a select sub-category (or project) of work, but usually remains online, and is shared, and hopefully reaches some people.
Through this process, I've re-edited nearly eighty photos, since 2010. Originally, they were shared online with a particular edit of the time, but they are now shown in my Flickr Photostream, and my main website, as my new approach to my work. These photos are edited with an approach of confidence. Once you decide to take photos semi-seriously, you may add too much, or too little, of something to compliment the image. Post-processing shouldn't compliment an image, it should support it in the areas that are deemed weaker than other parts of the photograph. I believe that the less post-processing an image requires, the stronger it is.
By approaching older photos with this new way of mine, I have been able to admire photos that I never looked at twice. My composition, my exposure, and my light were accurate, but they didn't "feel" like a strong image because I could not elevate it by editing it. In my eyes, as a photographer, that's a problem.
I use to view my work online as a big mess. All of my photos were not categorized, were barely tagged, they were mostly all in different dimensions, and the editing style varied across the board. I saw this as a huge inconsistency. I love consistency, and the fact that my work wasn't, bothered me tremendously.
2016 is an excuse, really, to work with a new approach, keep a level of consistency through my workflows, and be able to present a pleasant portfolio for my audience. My Instagram is consistent (all monochrome / 1:1 ratio), my VSCO Grid is consistent (one colour / one monochrome / 1:1 ratio), my Facebook Page is consistent (latest work / all watermarked). Why shouldn't my main website be consistent? I need to provide a level of professionalism to my main website because it's my selling platform, it should attract, and it should demonstrate consistency on all accounts.