Yesterday I was faced with a startling question from a crush.
With her fixed gaze on my eyeballs and her soft soothing hand over my shoulders she whispered two questions.
The first, "you are a photographer right?"
Like a hot plate of Mama Osasu's pepper rice, I rushed the question with a bold and resounding "yes" even before she could finish her sentence.
Exactly 4 seconds later, she struck me with the second question which got me thinking till this very moment.
She said and I quote "...So as a photographer, what do you see in every picture you take as in what do you look out for after taking pictures".
It's quite easy right? Well, so I thought too.
Before I could put my brain to thinking my edgy mouth had already vomited the word 'perfection'. Trust me when you are with your crush and she is looking straight into your soul through your eyes, it becomes quite difficult to engage your brain in any form of thinking exercise.
'What?' she exclaimed, lifting her perfectly drawn, brushed and concealed left eyebrow; "You don't mean it, how could you say such?".
She continued, "what if it's not perfect? Would you delete it?".
In the heat of the moment I tried correcting myself with "beauty!", "creativity!" but it was more or less medicine after death as she had already disconnected her soothing hands one of which was hanging across my shoulder and the other was completely interlocked with my left palm.
Her gaze at my eyeball and my acne-filled face ceased in a jiffy. I could instantaneously tell she was not only disappointed at my answer but was also fatigued due to the conversation.
I knew I had done something to chagrin her.
I couldn't sleep last night. So I took some time to think outside the house. I had the fresh air, the stars, the warm Coke and my pot belly all set to put my brain to work.
Then, I came up with an answer and promptly decided to share with TheCommunity.
A lot of Photographers and Photo fanatics and aficionado's these days just go ahead and take pictures because it's what they love to do or because they were paid for it. Or, even better, for "memory preservation" sake.
As a Photographer or Photo aficionado, there are a combination of things you should look out for in your photographs. They include: The Message, Beauty, Creativity and then Perfection. In this order.
From my deep thought in this matter, The Message is the most important of them all. As a photographer, you should be able to look into your photograph and decipher it's message.
Just like Art, Photography speaks.
Behind every picture there is a message. A photographer is incomplete if he/she cannot identify and decipher that message. Realisation of this message is what distinguishes a professional from an amateur.
The message could be from the subject's personal story or from the environment or from the reaction or pose of your subject or from some background factors or from the position of the camera or from the colours in the surrounding or that of the subjects outfit or even from the effects used while editing.
The Message could be any or a combination of the above mentioned possible sources or from NONE.
The Message is unique. When you decipher it, you'll know you are right and you'll feel better about your Photography.
And like every artist would tell you, "Every piece of art has a story (a message)". Same goes for Photography but many Photographers pay no time or attention to the message of their photography.
After the message the photographer can then look out for beauty, creativity, perfection etcetera.
Be ye Android users,
Be ye BlackBerry, Apple or Windows users,
Be ye Canon, Nikon, Sony or Panasonic users,
Whenever you take a picture,
GIVE YOUR PICTURE A VOICE,
LET THE PICTURE SPEAK,
IDENTIFY THE MESSAGE,
JUST LIKE ART, PHOTOGRAPHY SPEAKS.
-Bob-Manuel Faithful T.