Did I take that?!

April 02, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Quite a while back on my other blog (which I am currently trying to import) I posted about seeing a picture that I thought was pretty good and not realizing I am the one who took it. The whole looking through your old files for hidden treasures once you've gotten some perspective thing. Well, this for this Triple R Monday (rants, raves, and ramblings) I talking about the OTHER kind of "Did I take THAT!?" 

 

As you know, I have been overhauling my business as well as my website (still have a long way to go) and during this process I have been forced to look at many of my old images. There are good ones I've forgotten about, there are good & bad ones I remember, then there is another category - ones I thought were good. Now look at them & feel awful that I EVER let ANYONE see them. Most of these shockers are not necessarily that bad from the point of content, but they are HORRENDOUS in the way I've edited them.

 

When I first learned to do certain techniques in Photoshop I tried it out, apparently a lot in some cases. I tried them here, I tried them there, I tried them in places they did not really belong. Sounds like "Green Eggs & Ham" right? No one said anything...partly because many free form faux-togaphers use the same styles & "creatives" I was learning. Perhaps partly because that is the current style. Partly because people were trying to be nice? 

 

I've come to the conclusion that styles of photography, current editing trends, and those must have stereotypical pictures....you know, like the one of someone randomly walking down the road or railroad tracks, sitting in a oddball chair in the middle of a field, making a heart over the belly, or scrabble tiles....are all like politics or trends in the pure bred animal industry: they are just cyclical fads. The pendulum swings left & right & back again. 

 

From this I have learned several of those NEVER & ALWAYS. (Which are two words I try to not use.)

  1. NEVER get rid of the original files!
  2. NEVER edit ON the original file! (1 & 2 are so you can re-edit & see how much you've grown in skill & knowledge.)
  3. There is ALWAYS a viewer for EVERY type of photograph that will LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEE it. (Even if we think it is the ugliest thing on the planet.)
  4. If you photograph people for a living & you want to take those faddy images (or your customer requests them) go ahead and do it, but also ALWAYS take something more conservative, they may want it in 20 years, but now it just seems boring to them.
  5. If your style of photography is not popular right now, the pendulum will catch you on the return voyage at some point.
  6. One of the absolutes about people is they need change as much as they claim to dislike it.

Just think about those yearbooks you look through. Yeah, in a way you are glad it documented your style them & it's a good laugh for you & your kids, but you know you're going to want something to show them that is "normal" too. This is why I am a fan of timeless images.

On the positive note, I felt like I was in a rut not learning as much as I should & not moving forward, but seeing some of my old stuff that shocked me gave me the realization that I was progressing - I just couldn't see the forest for the knot-hole in the tree. It gave me some perspective & now I feel more inspired. Now I just need to update my portfolio.

 


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Fine Art & Portraiture

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JW Heldermon       Photography

Jeramie KS Heldermon

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