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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The real value of beautiful photography




What is our motivation for photographing something? More importantly what is our motivation for photographing something well? I think it's all about love and respect. We want to show all those positive emotions we feel about a place, a person, an event. I'm sure there must be people who photograph things they hate but I photograph things I love.

And I'm not satisfied until I produce an image that shows my subjects in the best possible light. The kind of image that when people look at it they'll understand how wonderful I think it is.

I think that snapping a mediocre image of something is akin to showing a lack of respect for it. You don't have enough love for it that you can be bothered to make the effort to create a fantastic image. And let's not beat around the bush here. Fantastic photography takes a fantastic effort. You can't just expect to get up at 10 and pop out and take landscape photographs that are going to wow people off their seats. And you can't just walk up to a loved one standing in harsh midday sunlight, push the shutter and expect to come away with an image that does them justice.

So why are we surrounded by so much mediocrity? If you look at your own pictures and you don't well up with emotion when you remember how beautiful it was, chances are a judge looking at your pictures isn't going to be moved either. If you're a company and you look at your own advertising material and it doesn't make your heart skip a beat when you see how beautiful it looks...well I don't think your customers are going to feel anything either.

Photography has never been easier or more accessible. Point and shoot and something will turn out. But like newspapers that have a life of one day, how many of your 'snaps' will stand the test of time. How many of your cheap photos will increase your bottom line? To get the supreme photograph you need to make the supreme effort. And it might take more sweat and cost more money (though probably less sleep!) but at the end of the day you'll have created an image that truly shows the love and respect you feel for the things that you want to share with the world.

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