"One thing I find totally awesome about photography is how many brilliant photographers you live amongst - I'm talking County, City and Town! Leeds has always been in the shadows when it comes to art & photography, let's be honest, in the UK London will always have the crown of the creative capital and us northerners also have to compete with Manchester which certainly has a firm grip on producing some absolutely amazing artists & photographers. That being said, since I moved back to Leeds I've noticed a rapidly growing community in the arts around West Yorkshire and the best thing about it, the work is amazing. One of those brilliant individuals is Alex Moldovan, he's a photographer based in Leeds creating some fantastic imagery and he's kindly agreed to write '6 reasons to be a photographer'... if you don't know this guy's work, seriously go check it out! " - Luke
I would like to thank Luke for this amazing opportunity to share some of my thoughts on photography and try to convince you, if you’re not already crazy about photography, why you should try it out. And if you’re already a die-hard photographer (or enjoy the occasional clicky box experience) I hope you share my views on some of these :
1. Create Your Own World and Share it
When I initially started doing photography my goal was to express myself… I couldn’t draw, write or sing (still can’t … but there is always space to get better) and as such photography was my way of sharing with the world what I could see and feel. As things progressed I realised that being a photographer/creative is similar to having a lucid dream (A dream in which you are aware of your dream state).
You are in control of the world that you wish to create, but unlike a dream, you won’t forget it and you can share it with others and spark something in them. There are only a few photographers on this planet that have truly inspired me and my work. But oh damn, have they inspired me…(Hmmm might do an article on them at some point … ahh anyway… back on track).
2. Meet New People
Have you seen a shy photographer? No? They exist… I promise you. I know most of the time it seems like they have no boundaries and will snap anyone telling them to smile for the camera with that horrible phrase “Say cheese” *shrugs*. But photographers are normally shy creatures, unless they are photographing :P. Being a photographer allows you to ignore your anxiety for meeting new people just so you can get that picture that has been circling in your mind.
“But Alex, I can’t talk to complete random strangers!! What if they start shouting at me or think I’m weird”, I hear you crying to your mobile phone as you’re reading this.
Put yourself in their shoes…. If a photographer just approached you and told you that you were the perfect model for an image they had in mind; would you feel instantly repelled by them? Obviously you should first check out their credibility (We will talk about model safety another time). BUT NO! You would feel flattered. Well I know I would :P
As well as meeting new people to photograph, you will meet other photographers. These are the people you can get your geek on and chat about all the gear, all the ideas, all the locations and all the rants about trivial things that most people within the civilised society will have no idea what you are talking about or will think you need to be put in a special padded room (there will be many of these from me soon).
3. Gain Understanding
When you start to explore your ideas you start to question everything you think. I’ve had so many situations where people have asked me “Why did you do it like that? Where did you get the idea from?”. There comes a point you start to answer those questions in your own head… you start to see a pattern in your work … or even a blind spot in your day to day thinking.
I’m the sort of person that loves asking why. There are not enough times that I ask myself why I do things. And yes. I know. Sometimes you just want to do things for the sake of doing them because it’s fun. I love those moments. But I value the reason behind things just as much.
4. Stretch Yourself
I really wish I could remember which photographer talked about this … but the idea that you stop being a good photographer the day you stop stretching/developing yourself (Pardon the pun). Being in this field is all about trying new things, pushing the boundaries and gaining new experiences.
The idea that you just become a better photographer needs to be eradicated ... you become a better person. You start to see more of the world, more of people and more of everyday things. This relates to what I previously said about knowing yourself and meeting new people :)
Someone asked me the other day “How can you keep developing? Surely there comes a point where you’ve tried everything …” And I swear that I had to think so hard about this. They made a very good point. There are only so many things you can do with photography, only so many techniques. Then it hit me like a truck. You make new techniques. You develop a new style or a new branch of photography. People didn’t stop writing books because every word in the dictionary was used.
5. Fill in the _____
Following on from the idea of coming up with new techniques and branches of photography. You will fill in blanks. How exciting is that?! I think that’s amazing.
You don’t get what I mean? – I don’t even know what I mean.
The blank canvas on someone’s wall.
The blank book cover, CD album and magazine cover.
The blank Facebook profile photo.
The blank expression on someone’s face.
The blank experiences and memories.
You will fill yours and other's lives with things for them to remember and treasure.
6. It’s Fun!
How often do you get to run around a field, throw string around a forest, set off many, many, many smoke grenades, wander the library with a dancer throwing books up in the air? Being a photographer means you can do all those things and many more that involve exploring new places and parts of the world. The sense of adventure and excitement of the unknown is adrenaline inducing. BAH! I love it.
It’s also fun doing the editing. I can hear the grumbles of a few photographers that are reading this. But you know you love it. You get to be the master of an idea and an image. You get to fully ingrain yourself with every stroke of the stylus and click of a button… Yes even when you use Ctr+Alt+Z because it’s a little too much…(Cmd + Opti + Z for Mac). It’s all fun. And this is the final and most important reason that you should want to be a photographer; because through all the struggles, planning, equipment hoarding and eye squinting to make sure the final image is done …it’s fun.
Thank you again Luke for offering me this space! And I hope to see speak to some of you and hear what your opinion is! You can find me on pretty much any social media site… links are on my website :
Do you have any more reasons from your own experience? Which image is your favourite from Alex's set?