Thoughts on The Process

Photography is a very interesting process.

One might imagine that the final product, what we'd call a masterpiece or a beautiful piece of art, and the creative process, the frustrating and heart-wrenchingly painful process, share many things in common, but the fact is, this is not the case.

I find that there exist two worlds of photography-the world of the ideas in your mind or the picture we all see at the end, and the grueling work that happens in between. There is the clean, edited collection of three photos that we present on our websites, and then there are the two-hundred-and-sixty other photos of messy, blurry, missed targets and miscommunications. The struggle of the confused artist searching for the perfect lighting, setting, and moment is mostly forgotten by the time the final picture is made.

Photographers are often trying to warp reality, and they often do, by leaving out certain parts of a scene and photoshopping in others. For example, the other day I was taking this photo:


And while doing so, I made the observation that I was sitting in a doggie bed in my mom's office. That's not artistic, that's reality. It's not beautiful, it is awkward. 

I struggle to separate my experiences from the, what I am often told is beautiful, final products of my work.  I cannot seem to rectify the two conflicting emotions within me. Half of me recognizes the difficulties I faced during the process that caused anxiety and grief, while the other half wants to acknowledge the simple beauty that can cause joy and even enlightenment... but to the audience, who sees only the art, the art is perfect and the process is a perfect, beautiful thing. They can't quite comprehend what flaws could have possibly existed before the beauty. Before I took any photography classes or what have you, I always wondered how great photographers could find such perfect scenes in such an imperfect world, but now I know the truth. Having been behind the camera for a while now, I realize that there are no perfect scenes. Photographers don't just stumble upon places others can never seem to find; they create them. 

It is very hard to un-see what the artist has seen. All of the visual garbage that they left out or manually removed in photoshop. 

I suppose the happiest photographers are the ones who can do this best. For those of you who can separate the creative process from the end product, you have my eternal respect. 

With love,