You do you, unless you want to be a photographer.

Since my last post, I finally was able to meet Penny De Los Santos and take her workshop up in NYC, went to California, and posted a ton of photographs onto Exposure.  I am not sure why I came back from California on Monday, but I did.  I pretty much abhor snow and winter.  

Then I read a story from Bridget Eldrige Photography about her time with Foundation Workshop.  And thought about some thoughts that were passed around, while I have been pursuing this photography work.  One thought was, "be yourself." Now everyone says, "be yourself" which is all well and good.  But not entirely good if you are a photographer.  Well specifically, an introverted photographer like myself and Bridget, in the provided link.  One of the key non-technical things that make or break photography is connection.  I don't mean the subjects in the photo, but that in itself also makes a stronger and compelling photograph.  But I mean between photographer and subject, specifically live beings- people and animals.  Food? I don't know photographer and subject is relevant for that.  

For introverts, it is hard to open up and just talk to people, let alone allowing them to open up to you as a photographer.  So that's what I mean by being yourself as a photographer doesn't necessarily cut it.  If you are wondering what Foundation Workshop is, it's a workshop on wedding photojournalism.  They throw the students into an in depth situation for them to document, which doesn't have to do with weddings.  The goals of Foundation, as the name implies, is to create a foundation of strong visual story telling.  You need to know all the technical aspects of photography prior to come out of it better.  But then again, why would you be spending $4k or so of hard earned money if you didn't know how to use your camera?

Creating a connection with the people, or animals, that you are photographing is one of the top traits that need be able to conjure up in seconds.  That is if you want to be a successful photographer.  

Knowing that this is an issue for myself, I have been since trying to strike up small talk and discussion with anyone.  So far it is going alright. I do realize that I am much more talkative to strangers, if I am traveling.  I have to say that, that while I love the in the moment photographs, but those in the moment photographs are stronger and freeing if there was a connection made between the photographer and people you are photographing.  

But, man, it is hard!  I just want to go in make some photographs and head on out of there.  Just like with my realization with my personal project, in order for me to make a story more compelling is to get them to open up about themselves.   

That's what I got when I read Bridget's blogpost, talking to people really helps make your images better.  Being serious here. 

Anyway, as mentioned, I recently came back from California.  Still beating myself up here for coming back.  I was out there babysitting my nephew Vincent for the week.  As with every time I am out there, I ponder to myself what am I doing.  Or well, what am I doing staying in the East coast?

So what do you think?  What areas do you think you are falling short in being whom you want to be?

Dreaming through the Noise

Dear Vienna Teng, I just used a song lyric of yours.  

I haven't posted a blog entry here for close to two weeks.  I was in California baby sitting my awesome nephew, Vincent, and exploring the area.  Check out the photography story on my Exposure.  I could have written another "How did I shoot this" entry but figured the previous three entries are a good summation of the technical process.  A lot of the rest is conceptual and personal aesthetic. 

So as I was spending my time in California doing the uncle responsibilities, I did cook, explore the food and coffee areas, and thought further about being this food and culture photographer.  Speaking of coffee, I found two really great coffee shops in SoCal- Cafeito Organico and Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa!  Finally!  I ran out of my coffee that I brought from home, my bag of Rwanda beans from ReAnimator Coffee.  Being a strict vegetarian from 5th grade till I was about 29, I had to really sit down with myself and think about this.  Can I be a vegetarian and still appreciate food and food culture?  Not everyone is a vegetarian or meatatarian.  How can I document everything if I keep myself closed to the vast world of gastronomy?  So while I am not going full on meatatarian, I need to develop some appreciation of it.

That said....

I had a messy, but, delicious crab and clam roast! 

I hope you enjoyed the food photographs and some of the food culture I ate across.  haha ate across instead of walked across!  Get it?  For more of the culture go to my Exposure post: Dreaming the Californian Dream.