There are many benefits to doing a 365 Day Photography Project. Words like perseverance, determined, focused, discipline, improved, all come to mind. But I have also discovered that I am so focused on getting that one
Last week I put on my bravery bonnet and submitted this photograph to the FaceBook Group that goes with David duChemin's photography class - The Compelling Frame. This is what I wrote to accompany the photograph:
"For the most part I have been happy to sit back and read what others post, enjoy their photography, occasionally comment and leave it there. You know the scary thing...sharing your own photography, yes I have been trying to avoid it. But, honestly how is that going to help my growth. This week, I took an idea from a challenge in another group I am in and went to the laundromat. I have wanted to do a personal project at a laundromat for the last two years. Monday I conquered fear and the curious looks from other laundromat patrons and took my camera out. First scary obstacle cleared, now the second...sharing a photo here."
I wasn't looking for feedback or praise. I simply wanted to push myself to start sharing in the group. But I got good feedback anyway, even from the instructor himself:
"Very geometric. Very isolated. I find it hard to give good feedback on this one because I don't know where you're at in the learning process, Sarah. If you're closer to the beginning this is an excellent exercise in geometry and in creating a clear subject. If you're further along then I'd like to see the whole series and see if there isn't something there with more story, or more of an emotional hook, or stronger conceptual contrasts, perhaps."
In his response was the WORD that had been hammering on my creative heart for the last few weeks - STORY. I knew exactly what he was talking about and I knew that I had let what made my photography compelling in 2016 slip away - the STORY.
Once I opened my heart to the Word, I remembered the Adobe Spark stories that I did at the end of 2016, my favorite being the one titled Connections that I shot at our public library with my daughter. But that raised another question that I posed to David along with this photograph...
Question - Is it wrong to set the story up?
The overwhelming response was: No, it isn't wrong to stage the story. Even when we frame a landscape photograph from our own perspective, we are skewing what we want people to see.
Again David's response spoke to something deep inside me...
"I’m inclined to side with the masses on this one. I have no problem with setting the stage like this. Cinematographers do it all the time. Novelists put their characters where and how they want. I’ll say it again, where art is concerned: there ain’t no rules and there is no “should” except what you desire and what serves your intent."
It was the single sentence "Cinematographers do it all the time."
That sentence gave the nod to something else that has been rumbling around in my head. An on-line course taught by Xanthe Berkeley called Make Films. I have a strong urge to explore film making. I feel the experience will contribute greatly to my ability to create stories. The course begins January 9, 2018. I haven't decided for sure yet, but I have written on my desk calendar on Tuesday, December 26 - Decide on Xanthe Film Class!
My One Word for 2018 is STORY...