Thursday, July 9, 2015
I get self-conscious sometimes about the clutter that so frequently litters the backgrounds of my images. Since the beginning, I've maintained that I like pictures that look like they were taken in spaces that occupy the real world, and not abstract studios. And I genuinely do feel that way, but in the back of my mind I worry if that's not just an excuse for me not having more professional habits.
The clutter is distracting at times, and not always aesthetically pleasing, but I don't have the patience to clear out a work space every time I take a picture, considering that this is the home that I inhabit - it's bound to look lived in. I don't really have enough space to set aside an empty corner to use as a photo studio. And besides, the construction of this building is atrocious, and I find that when I do clear the clutter away, the emptiness just emphasizes how crooked the doors and walls and floors and ceilings are, and that's frustrating in a completely different way.
On the other hand, I want to improve my photography, and produce images that are more flawless, so that more people can admire them and recognize me as a serious photographer. To that end, I'd also love to buy some nicer lenses, and maybe some lighting equipment that I could learn to use, but I'm poor, and photography is not a cheap hobby.
I know what they say - and I'll be the first person to agree - that the talent exists in the photographer, and not the equipment he's using. The same is true of musicians. And I think I've taken enough remarkable pictures with the cheap equipment I own to prove that. But I wonder if there isn't a point at which it's like you're filtering your talent through a cheap lens, and it would just be represented that much better if you had a clearer one.
But equipment is only one of many improvements I suppose I could make. Still, it's one that's pretty straightforward. It's times like these that I resent being self-taught. Which is another thing. I feel so disconnected from any kind of photographic (or modeling) community. Communication with fans on photo sharing sites rarely goes beyond the superficial level, and all the other photographers seem like isolated pockets, absorbed in their own work, with no talk of craft - not boring stuff like what gear they have or what filters they use in Photoshop, but things like how do you find your models, what's it like working with them, where do you scout locations, etc.
I imagine it's even worse being a nude/erotic photographer, because everybody just assumes you're a pervert who shoots porn. Without disparaging the human sexual impulse, I want to be taken seriously, to the point that people want to join me and help me and work together with me to create beautiful art - but not people who are simply perverts looking for ways to get around the normal social prohibitions against promiscuity. "Oh, it's art, so it's okay". I mean the people who share a genuine interest in art with me, even if it's of the erotic variety. Maybe another big problem I have is that I live in the middle of nowhere. But it's not a simple matter for me (mainly due to my anxiety) to just pull up my roots and move to New York or L.A., or what have you. As much as I might dream about it...