When you have the same profession for nearly 20 years (WHAT?!), you get into a sort of groove. For me, I’ve become set in my ways in terms of what makes a great image, and what makes a poor image. To help solidify those criteria, I taught college photography for a few years and was constantly judging photographs on composition and lighting. Finally, I’ve given a dozen workshops to everyone from moms who want to take better photographs of their kids, to veteran photographers on how to improve composition and lighting. Suffice it to say, I have a very particular way of doing things.
So then, explain to me why I love this image?
By all intents and purposes, I should give it a low score on the composition and lighting standards I held my students to. It’s messy. It crops at a joint, there is a shadow over the eyes, and the hair is underexposed.
But I love it. Moved by it even. It reminds me of a very important lesson:
art isn’t about being perfect.
It should be about evoking feelings in the viewer. In this image, the art works in an otherwise undefinable way. And it reminds me of another important lesson.
I don’t have to always be perfect. It’s hard for me to say that out loud, because I have such pride in my composition and lighting and art direction. Creating images as close to perfect as can be has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember. So many of my commercial clients also strive for the goal of perfect images. Maybe I’ve let that become to important of a focus.
Perfection is not the goal.
Thanks for being here,
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