I’ve been meaning to write about this for a long while and now and I’ve finally found the words to say it the way I want to.
First of all, this post is for all the people who aren’t photographers, who get told by people (photographers included) that they don’t have an artistic eye, JUST because they aren’t a photographer. Horseshit. I know, right? It makes no sense and is pure non-sense because it’s not sensible at all. If I don’t have a photographic eye, fine, but telling me I don’t have one because I’m not a photographer is a lame, stupid-ass reason.
The ‘photographic eye’, as it’s called, simply implies that someone can find the artistic elements in a setting and use those settings to frame and capture it in a still image that tells a story. (This definition is in my own words so I copyright it immediately! Ha!) The ONLY thing required to do that is an understanding of the asymmetry of art. Period. Not the workings of a high-tech camera or how to create lighting or the use of photo-shop or any of that ‘photo’ related stuff.
And guess what, I just happen to understand the asymmetry of art. So I guess I can have a photographic eye then! Ding, ding, ding! Yay! Art was one of my best subjects in school despite the fact that I wasn’t personally aware/encouraged enough to actually pursue it further but I’m working on fixing that now. So all you who have suffered under such criticism remember, critics may lie. You may not know how to calibrate the lens on a Sony or Nikon but that doesn’t change the fact that you can see the beauty with your natural eye, which is where it starts, with the ability to identify subtle lines and pull shapes out of sparse matter and pinpoint the blend of colours. Not everyone can see this, of course. Some people are just not artistically inclined at all, they have a different kind of intelligence that’s all, but you don’t need to be a certified photographer to know a good picture when you see it.
Matter of fact, hear it from a photographer herself, if you don’t believe me.
But enough of that, that was just something I had to get out. This post is also mainly about photographers whose work I admire and each for different reasons.
So, I’ll start with Jason Lee Jason Lee Photography
Many people know his work even if they didn’t realise it. He’s the dude with the cute daughters dressed like the Super Mario Brothers, swinging from the ceiling fans, lighting candles on each others heads and taping each other to the walls. The creative pictures he took of his daughters to keep his ailing mother in the loop with their lives spread like wild fire across the web a while back. I definitely love this photographers big imagination and with those two little cuties there’s a lot of ideas to go around. I can’t count the number of ideas I’ve had to do creative photos with my nieces and nephew like this as well. Looking at some of his other work on his website above I also love the way he uses lighting to zero in on a subject and not just capture but enhance the emotion in the picture.
Next on the list is Laura Ferreira Laura Ferreira Studios
What I like about this photographer is the way she takes a beautiful, still albeit ordinary photo and transforms it into fantasy since she’s also a digital artist. So a spinning woman can become trapped in an oil painting, a girl standing on a hilltop can suddenly be transformed into a fairy with red wings and as you can see above, this subject got cast into the depths of the sea to play nice with the jellies. She has many beautifully serene, non-digitally mastered pieces as well but she won me over with her digital artistry, which is the first time, given that the reason I like all these photographers is because of how natural and not ‘photo-shopped to death’ their images appear. Using programs like photo-shop to create artistic images like this is more than alright in my book, (I mean, who’s really going to want to actually get this near to a jelly fish in real life?) and this photographer definitely has a win in this category.
Photography is meant to be beautiful, it’s meant to evoke emotion and memory, it’s meant to make you feel and think, it’s meant to tell a story without words. It is not meant to be perfect. You can try sure, but I think perfection is sometimes lost in constant editing. Who cares if there’s a wisp of hair flying across the subjects face or in the air? What about the emotion connected to the photo? This is why I like the next photographer, Stacy Christian Stacy Christian Photography
Her pictures are real. It’s not just the work of a designer or an artist on a model trying to create a look or a mood. It’s real because the people are real, smiling and laughing because they’re actually happy (or bored in the background but still REAL emotions). She captures the way people are when they are comfortable in their own element.
If I never wanted to get married, heck now I do! This woman’s photography absolutely captures the dream of the perfect wedding, even if the wedding itself did turn out to be an absolute disaster. Every picture in a way is seen from the view point of the couple or rather how they imagined they would look if they were looking down at themselves, which is perfectly happy and in love. Her style is evidently very intimate and you can tell she must have a true love for capturing this special day for people because it shows in her photos.
Bradford Willcox shoots (with a camera, people) models. He is a fashion photographer. I don’t believe he has a website but he does have a Facebook page, which you can find here. Being an aspiring seamstress and a fashion junkie (yes, I’m finally admitting it. I LOVE DRESSES!) I have seen his work before and always thought he had a knack for ‘movement’ photos. More than a knack actually, the man knows how to capture moving hair like a boss. However, so can a lot of other fashion photographers.
What really struck me about his work was a collection he did on an abandoned Six Flags Theme Park in New Orleans after Katrina hit last year which really shows his talent capturing the still life in inanimate objects. His black and white stills were especially gorgeous. You could feel the empty, ghost-like chill you get from a ‘supposedly’ haunted area. From the empty seats to the halted Ferris Wheel across the waterway, you could almost hear the turnstiles creaking for the ghost-people to come in or the echo of a phantom roller coaster going by. One word. Wow. Oh and creepy too.
Next, we have Katie Hall Katie Hall Photography
The first thing I noticed about this photographer was her apparent talent for photographing the tiniest of us. And not just taking their picture but showing their personality. Their character. Their curiosity about the world and their many comical facial expressions. Photographing children is hard work. They can get fussy, be uninterested and become wild and disruptive in their naturally playful way and when dealing with expensive camera equipment that can be a problem so many photographers opt not to deal with children at all. However this photographer shows that with a little patience and a quick hand to the draw, you can be rewarded with beautiful stills. I had to put two of these, they’re so cute!
Now I deliberately choose photographers who probably aren’t incredibly famous or very well known because there are others I have on my list but these I admire because they have a distinct style that I like about them.
The last one though is Sasha Gomes. She is incredibly new, not well known at all but has infinite potential and shows her work under La Red Graphic Studios The thing about this photographer is that, unlike the others, she has yet to fully embrace or find her signature style. Like most new photographers, you go where the money goes because at the end of the day you have to make a living. Any good photographer can do a wedding, an event, a studio shot, if it’s a business you can adapt but despite this every photographer’s work should identify with them. Their pictures should reflect their personal style and the way they see the world through their lens. I believe this photographers style is clearly portraiture and not just any portraiture but wildlife portraiture. See for yourself.
See what I mean. Of course, as I said. Any good photographer with a ‘photographic eye’ (ha!) can capture beautiful images. Each photographer needs to be true to themselves and their own personal style though and not just take the pictures that make the money but take the pictures that make them happy as well. The pictures that say, “this is how I see the world.” If you’re good, you can make every picture say that.
So that’s my list. See you all again… whenever. Haha! Hope it’s sooner than later.
– Written by Travesaou
Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved