So…. I have joined a new blog circle group. (gasp)! but this one is different in a way….. it’s called the Critical Theory of Photography or as I think I will note it each month – Photographic Theory. Sounds deep right? Well, my hope is that it will be. I need a push to go deeper with my photography. I’m not sure yet if this will be my sole project this year as to what will help me dig deeper into my passion but I know it can’t hurt. Photography for me is sort of like chocolate. I crave it and I need it in order to exist, don’t you? Chocolate I mean If you don’t need chocolate, well then…. I don’t know what to say.
I have this deep desire to document what is in my heart and in my mind and yes, there are many times I get stuck or not sure what to do with this passion of mine or how to create what I see in my head and make it something that not only makes me happy but somehow brings joy to others. But no matter what I always have this desire to explore my life through my lens if that makes sense. That is what I love about being a serious hobbyist and shooting for me, shooting what I love and what makes me happy. And…one of the reasons I chose the name Everyday Photo Bliss. But to be honest I’ve never felt I have lived up to that name. Anyway, this group is different than other photography blog circles you may have had the pleasure to peruse. Some months there may be 5 of us musing over what we’ve read and some months there may be 15 of us. But every month we will delve in to a book authored by someone related to photography. Our hope is to focus on the texts and how it relates to our life photographically. Because for those of us in this circle, it’s critical to us, to our beings to delve deeper into what moves us photographically. I hope you’ll join me on this journey this year as I explore this new avenue of learning and growth. <3
This month our book is “The Mind’s Eye” by the legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson . I hate lengthy blog posts because it’s really about the photos for me. But I want to share just a little bit about something he wrote and has had an impact on me these last couple weeks. One of the main points I took from Cartier-Bresson is his belief of how we must – as photographers, continually balance the elements in motion, how our eye’s are always evaluating. One must be able to find a balance of what is in our mind’s eye through perpetual evaluation. This book is an interesting read and I could go on and on… but one thing that really stood out to me is this: He goes on to say…. “The photographer is searching for identity of his sitter, and also trying to fulfill an expression of himself.” This really struck a chord in me. Because as I search for the identity of each of my children via a portrait, how much is honest and real of them? or is it a reflection of me and who I am? Am I searching for what I want to see or create as an individual? He also said “We must neither try to manipulate reality while we are shooting, nor manipulate the results in the darkroom. These tricks are patently discernible to those who have eyes to see.” And I ask myself, can I as a photographer still create raw, organic imagery if asking my subject to engage with me in some way??? Can I still be authentic, real, and honest in telling their story?
I haven’t quite answered that yet. I’m still thinking on this quite a lot. As many of my photography friends and I have discussed, one thing that is so important as a photographer is to show a real, honest, and authentic photo of my subject, whatever that may be. I want my viewer to be able to feel as though they know ‘my child’ or ‘me’ or whatever it is that I’ve created and put out there – a little bit better, and have it have some emotional impact on them. This is more food for thought, for me really…. am I capturing my boys just being them? or am I capturing what I want to see? I’ll leave it at that. It’s definitely something I will continue to work through photographically and mentally. For now, this week I really concentrated on my everyday bliss, my boys, being them. This is how I shoot most of the time. I need to get back to ‘this’. Documenting their lives, our lives, and without their knowledge of me even shooting them. My camera is sort of another appendage as most of you know so even when they do discover my super sleuth shooting they quickly go back to what they were doing. I am blessed. I would love to know what you think about my story telling. <3 Don’t forget to go around the circle… next up is the talented and sweet Lissa Chandler