Behind The Lens: Finding Creative Vision - Part 1
A question I am often asked is, "How did you get started into photography?"
Growing up, when I entered my high school years, I began to get heavily involved in art both at school and during my own personal time. During these years I trained under Cartoonist Gary Varvel, who creates a variety of cartoons that you enjoy every week in the Indianapolis Star Newspaper. He would teach us many things: like how to focus on our artistic side (right side of the brain, rather than the left), how to "draw what we see, not what we think we see", and overall how to find creative vision.
I remember my Dad during this time (and to this day) would say, "I wish I could see the world as you see it." What he refers to is a unique and extraordinary vision for the everyday and ordinary.
Wedding Photography is Art
99% of the world's population (this is, of course, a made up statistic) are not exceptional artists from the beginning. The remaining 1% either don't exist or have a book written about them, because they are legends. :) Artistic vision, like every other craft is something that requires discipline and dedication. It must be learned, honed, applied, practiced, refined, and further developed over time.
I had to learn vision, just like everyone else. One of my favorite exercises, when I was beginning my photography, was taking picture of any subject (it doesn't matter what it is) and continuing to take pictures as I moved around the subject from every angle imaginable until I completely exhausted all options. I would take one step to the right, then take a picture. Then I would take another step to the right and take another picture. In this same fashion I would continue to move horizontally around the subject from the front, to the side, and all the way behind. I would take pictures from the ant's perspective and the eagle's point of view. I would blend both horizontal and vertical vantage points. Then I would begin experimenting with different zooming lengths: up close, far away, and everything in the middle. The possibilities reach the sky.
This is merely scratching the surface to learning to see beyond our usual perspective. It is hard work, but like most disciplines, the reward outweighs the struggle.
Vision is not only a matter of perspective, but other crucial elements, such as are time, exposure, color and light are equally as important. I will be talking about these in later posts.
Finding creative vision is one of many things that excites me about wedding photography. Each time I pull out the camera my goal job is storytelling with a vision in mind. An extraordinary world awaits for those who are looking for it.