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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shoot for a Target

I find that I work a lot better when I have some reason to take a picture. If I just wander around looking for "a good shot", even a "good shot" of some specific kind, it's sort of pointless and not much good appears. Even if something good does appear, it's a one-off, unconnected to anything. This may be personal.

Sometimes, I shoot pictures with the intent to print. This is the basic way I approach all film photography. Sometimes, I shoot pictures for a portfolio, or at least with the intent to start a portfolio. There's still a pretty high failure rate, most film exposures are still not worth printing. Most portfolio ideas do not result in a portfolio.

Still, having that target, having in some minor way a bigger reason to shoot, is a big help to me. There's a potential end goal for each exposure. If it's good enough, it's on paper. If it's good enough and on-theme enough, it's in the portfolio.

This causes me to have a different relationship to the pictures. I'm not treating them as things that I might share out on the internet, to be crushed under the weight of a million or a billion other pictures. It's not a picture I'm making to test something or learn something, and then throw away. It's not a picture I'll stick on my computer, mess with for no particular reason, and then forget.

These are pictures that are on-track to go somewhere that I personally view as permanent, or at any rate less ephemeral.

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