Monday, July 11, 2011

Finding Your Own Voice in Your Photographic Practice

NOTE: The following article is a reflective answer to a question I've been asking about my photographic practice. I wrote it as an introduction to Suka Suka, an eclectic photo blog of mine which I recently lauched (see the side bar link). The question is:

What kind of photographs will you be making if you had no audience in mind?


There aren't many things that I can say as convincingly as this: "Photography is my passion."

I have been taking pictures since I had my first camera, when I was twelve years old. The fascination with the visual world and the passion to explore it felt so strongly then. It still does today. I'm still taking pictures as 'ferociously' as - if not more than - I was back then.

After all these years, my understanding of the visual world has of course evolved. The curiosity-driven and carefree approach of the beginning years of my love affair with photography have since then been interspersed with serious efforts in understanding it. I began to let the technical nooks and crannies of photography take hold of me. They even at one time had taken the best part of my relationship with photography. My knowledge and skills improved significantly. But I was also beginning to get estranged from the carefree exploratory spirit I once had. My approach to photography became stifled with technical concerns.

I became restless and questioning. I could make technically fine photographs, but I was not happy. They looked good but didn't feel as good. I gave birth to them, with my eyes and hands, but they looked like orphans. I missed the technically imperfect pictures that I made with joy and felt right.

Then I began to explore some more. Taking pictures that I like, some. Taking assignments from others, some. Doing ideal projects so that I could find meanings in my photographic practice, some.

Over the course of doing these things, I began to realize that it was in making the instinctual pictures - pictures that I mentally, emotionally, and spiritually had connection with - that I found joy with. And it was pictures that I made in this way that felt right. They spoke 'me'. There's me in them.

I was ecstatic in this realization. I had eventually rediscovered 'the voice', my photographic voice, that I had forgotten and silenced in the name of technical perfection!

The right pictures that I make are varied in subject matters, diverse in their technical considerations, and may or may not be of interest to others. In these concerns, they are eclectic. But they do have one thing in common: they were made instinctually, often at the spur of the moment in response to a visual stimuli. It is this kind of pictures that I share with you here.

SUKA SUKA is an Indonesian word that means more or less 'the way one likes it'. It is the name I have chosen for this photo blog of mine.


fajrot said...

hehe... blogwalking bro, monggo mampir sekalian kalo lagi iseng ke komunitas foto lover di
AYOFOTO! snap , share and make a friend

vera ira islami said...

nice blog friend....

Kristian said...

Nice to read post, nice shoot too. Encouraging point of view to approach photography.

Ayala Westgrove Heights said...

Great post, thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article..Please Keep posting..

- Lanie

Iki Jepretanku said...

waw amazing man..
it's great
visit this

Janne said...

I also have a passion for photography and I love your approach. I do really like the feet photo, my children have always laughed at my obsession for photographing feet. Nice work and I love your blog, keep it up.

Fotosessioon Stuudios said...

Great article, love your tips, thanks alot ;)

JPGBintaro said...

nice shoot ... success for all moment

dimz Photography said...

Thanks for providing such a great article, it was excellent and very informative.
as a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed.
thank you :)

Kendall Kessler said...

Beautiful work!

Eki said...

Thank you, Kendall.

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