Loosen up!

imageGrass, Bush and Stone, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

I believe that it’s okay to photograph something simply because you’re compelled to. That the very fact that you find something pulling at you to make an image is sufficient reason to do it. I didn’t always think this way. There was a time when I thought there had to be a reason to make an image; something outside my own desire that is. Someone was paying me for instance, or perhaps I thought I could turn a photograph into a product I could monetize in some vague manner. The sad thing is, is that I passed up opportunities to make photographs that might have meant something to me, if no one else. This self censorship, for that’s what it was, was stultifying and inhibiting. And the fact that I did it to myself only makes it worse. I can claim that it was the cost of film or processing that was to blame, but it’s a weak argument. Certainly the low per image cost of digital has the effect of loosening things up, but as I look back, that wasn’t the real culprit I used to think it was. I always had money for film. The real reason was that I lacked confidence in my own eye, my own judgement. That if I didn’t understand the meaning of a photograph at the moment I made it, it was no good. I don’t do that anymore, or at least I try not to, and I encourage you to do the same. If you see something and feel the urge, go ahead and press that button. The exercise is good for your finger, and for your soul. There is no down side to making a photograph, but you might regret not making one for the rest of your life.

Olympus OMD EM5 with 20mm f1.7 lens processed on my iPad Air using Snapseed.


One comment on “Loosen up!

  1. JohnAmes says:

    Well said sir.


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