Everyone can take photos: they may not be great and they may not be masterpieces, still, it has become ridiculously easy to photograph. It has both good and bad sides though. The good part is that anyone can express their ideas through a photo without having to be a professional photographer. In other words, anyone with a creative mind can express themselves through photographs. On the other hand, though, the ease of snapping pictures sometimes creates the impression that fine art photography is easy. But is it? Let’s examine a few mistakes that people usually make when experimenting with photographic art:
No message and no intention
First of all, a fine art photo starts with a message. It should be an idea that speaks for itself. If the photo you look at seems to have no message, no idea, then that’s a huge mistake. I do not mean it should convey something extraordinarily deep. I rather mean that the photo should have something to say. If it doesn’t, then there is no sense in snapping it. Is there?
Intention and message are bonded together really tightly. If you have the message (something to say) you create a good atmosphere to deliver it. If the photographer’s intention of expressing an idea or of showing something is not visible, then that might not be what we call “fine art photography.”
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Randomly chosen photographs
Have you ever asked yourself what the subject matter of your photographs is going to be? If you have, then you are on the right path. If not, you should reconsider your approach towards fine art photography. Usually, the subject matter is no less important than your message and intention. For example, think about whether it should be piles of boxes or maybe fashion brands or luxury clothing? You can choose anything that inspires you and that can convey the message you want to deliver.
Fine art photography requires technical excellence. The ability to make a picture look faded or torn or otherwise is all about perfect technical skills. If the photographer cannot manipulate the photo the way they want to, then the photo may remain far away from being an example of photographic art.
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No artist statement
If you are practicing fine art photography, you would make a mistake if you present your piece of art without an artist statement. So, what is it and what do you need it for? An artist statement is a kind of explanation of what your work is all about. With the help of such a statement, you can explain why you have created the work and how.
Overall, an artist statement helps understand what the artist’s intentions were. Usually, it gives answers to a whole lot of questions.
And there are a few things you should keep in mind when writing an artist statement. Artspeak is the style it should be written in. It is the language that sounds good and artsy like the photographs it describes. If you ever apply to galleries, they will take notice of both your photographs and your artist statements. So, make sure you have them both in perfect style.
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Not getting your ideas together
Brainstorming is the right thing to start with. Failing to plan things ahead of time won’t land you on a fine art photography career. So, if you are into photography, think about brainstorming and piling your awesome ideas in one place. Ask yourself the following questions:
• What is your passion?
• What would you like to speak about?
• What subjects do you like to photograph?
• What are the techniques you are good at?
• Who is your work for?
Try to write down the answers to these questions. Get your thoughts down on paper. It might not all look perfect at first. But you can always polish your ideas and make them perfect and worth working on.
Laziness is the enemy of fine art photography. It’s understandable that sometimes you just don’t have the energy to go and capture all those incredible photos. It’s normal to have days like that. If that’s the case, you need to take a day off. But there is a huge difference between having a day off and being lazy. Great fine art photos require great effort. If you are lazy, that would be reflected in your work.
For example, if you know that there is a better viewpoint for a photo, then go for it. Sometimes, you need to sacrifice some of your comforts to get the shots you need. If you do not want to move around to get better photos just because it is hot outside is a sign of laziness. So ask yourself, is that what you want? Or maybe you want some killer artsy photographs to organize an awesome fine art photo exhibition?
Being a photographer is an outstanding job. If you want to become really good at your work, then you need to invest time and effort. Most often than not, you will have to leave your comfort zone. And sometimes you might feel as if giving up. And of course, you might make some or all of the above-mentioned mistakes. And it’s normal. Just make sure you learn your lesson after every mistake you make and just go straight forward. Good luck!
If you have any pieces of fine art photography, feel free to share the links in the comments.
We are eager to see them!