Lately it’s been difficult for me to create an image and still enjoy looking at it a few days later. What’s been happening now that I’ve been at school is I’ve been taking pictures but they never get edited and finished. I am still working on new images and I think I’ve come up with a solution to this “new work” problem.
Rather than releasing and sharing one image at a time online, I want to get into doing more project or series based images. I’d like to come up with a specific concept for a photograph and create as many variations as I see fit, probably around ten. Making a series of images will ultimately make them hold up better in my eye because there will be other similar images in the series to further define the concept.
I liken this new approach to my photographs like a musician who creates an album of songs. Sharing each photograph individually, like a musician would with a single off their album, puts unnecessary pressure on me to top myself and compete against my previous work. While this is sometimes a good thing I think, for me, it’s making it harder to create an image that is truly different from my old work because I’m trying to make it at least as good as the last photo when I should be able to create whatever I feel like creating. In short, a group or series of images makes me focus more on the art and not on the “do better than the last one” aspect of photography.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier but a series of images does a few things for me. A series of images is something I have not tried to do before, especially with my conceptual photographs. A series of images is also going to make it easier for me to follow through with editing images because there will be more than just one. Sometimes I find I put off editing because I think, “Well it’s only one picture I don’t have to spend a ton of time on it” and that one picture never gets finished because I never get to it. On top of this, I think a series of images similar to each other will help me create the cohesive portfolio I’ve been struggling with as well. It took me a long time to realize this, but a lot of the more conceptually-based photographers I’ve seen have a few sets of related images for their portfolios and nothing else. It sounds like it would be stupid to do things that way but in my opinion, having a batch of related images wins over having a ton of unrelated images from a soup bowl to a beach scene any day.
Anyway, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for different sets of images and so far it seems to be going well. I’ll be sure to post my first complete series of images when they are complete.