The Photographer's Cloak of Invisibility
To start the New Year off right, I took a little time away to relax and revive my brain. Sometimes the inner business-man in me forgets to slow down, take a break, and let the inner artist breathe a little. Creating unique, one-of-a-kind photographic series for each new client that walks in my door is incredibly exciting, but takes a lot of creative energy. I push myself to make every new image different from the last. I do not want to repeat myself. I want my clients to own artwork that is truly theirs and no one else's. When I look around at other photographers in my field, I wonder if they sometimes forget to be unique. For me, repetition is simply not an option. My clients entrust me with their most intimate emotions, and in turn I work hard to create photographs that honor the deeply moving bond they share with their canine companions. In the end, we both win. My clients and I walk away from our project feeling a sense of calm and accomplishment, with a new body of artwork that will remain crisp and perfect for hundreds of years. The fast pace and quick printing of digital photography simply cannot carry that same weight. To prepare for an exciting 2012, I've begun reading a wonderful book on the common patterns and instincts of our contemporary American photographers: The Ongoing Moment, by Geoff Dyer. His discussion about the photographer's 'desire for invisibility' is a theory I strongly connect with. When I am photographing, I feel as though no one can see me, that I have entered into a secret moment in time with my subject. It's as if the moment of picking up the camera (when the artist is truly focussed) signals the dropping of a heavy curtain between the creative moment and the rest of the world. And this intimacy and secrecy is what allows for true creativity.
When I am photographing, I am experiencing a truthful moment. And I think this is what my clients are drawn to: a photographer who can show them a truly honest, pure, and inspiring portrait of their bonded companion.