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Why do we make pictures?

Why are you doing photography?  I’ve asked myself that question often.  There was a time when I did photography simply for the love of it. The curiosity of what would come back, what moment can I capture, what scene fascinates me?

I went through a period of soul-searching.  Quit my job and attempted to do photography for a living.  That didn’t work out very well.  For one I wasn’t making much of a living.  But the worst part of it all I lost my love and passion for photography.  I was no longer photographing things that interest me or captured my attention.  I was now photographing things that I knew my customers wanted.  I was caught up in this world of wedding photography, and it’s only purpose was to generate money.  I wasn’t thinking about making great images that pleased me, I was trying to make great images that pleased them.  The demands to please, and make a living squashed out all I loved about photography.  So much so that I gave up the business, and almost stop taking photos completely.

For years I felt like I didn’t care if people liked my images, especially other photographers what do they know anyhow?  I always did photography because I loved it, and did it for me and what pleased my eyes.  It wasn’t until I entered this world of being paid that ruined it for me.  Don’t get me wrong I was good at what I did, but it wasn’t satisfying me.

I have finally found that passion again.  Here I am after leaving the camera alone for a while.  I have picked it up again with that same curiosity I’ve had since I first picked up my first camera when I was around 10 or 12 years old.  I found myself having fun again, with that same anticipation as to how the images will look.  I was shooting places and things that caught my attention.  Wondering how the final image would look.  Hoping that I caught something that would stun me.  I found my passion again!  I was shooting for me, for what pleased me and for that I’m so thankful!

So check out a few photos I have recently done.  Photos by RJ Downtown Los Angeles

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Posted by on January 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Inspiration

Inspiration:
Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity; An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.

I watched a series of documentaries on photography over the weekend, and they really inspired me to keep doing photography, but more importantly find what makes me tick. I had done wedding photography for years, but found myself lacking any real inspiration. I think that they became mundane, and a source of living rather than a creative expression. Even though I was not fully inspired I still found some inspiration and nonetheless produced some stunning images.  Most of the wedding and portraits that I see photographers doing are all very similar, which is not bad but if you are a creative person it will soon bore you.  This is not a criticism to those in the wedding business, but it’s just a fact and my photography in many ways is no different.

I love doing classic portraiture, maybe because no one seems to be doing them anymore.  It feels like a art that is being lost.  Also I love Black & White photography, although I am shooting mostly digital Black & White now a days I still seem to love them better, as they invoke more thought and draw you in better than color photography seems to do.

I was really moved by the photography of Edward Weston, and his love and model Charis Wilson.  They did some stunning work together.  There work together is very intimate work, the kind that I strive for.  At times I find myself uncomfortable with my subjects, and I think that stems from my desire to know them better.  One reason I was never quite comfortable shooting weddings for studios was the fact that I met the bride for the first time on her wedding day.  To me this did not allow me time to build a rapport with both of them, and in some ways placed me at a disadvantage.  I would have preferred to have met them and chat for a while, even shoot their engagement photos – which I

offer for free to all my weddings because it allows me the privilege to get to know them, and this for me provides the sort of intimacy that I prefer with my subjects.

Charis Wilson just passed away on November 24, 2009, she was 95 years old.  She was an amazing women, and speaks very openly about her relationship with Edward Weston.  If you get a chance to watch the documentaries they are totally worth your time.

I was preparing my studio lights to take a graduation portrait of my friends son, and I asked my son if he would pose for me while I got the lights right.  I snapped this photo of him which I really liked – I liked it as much in color as I did in black & white which is rare for me as I tend not to like color to much as I think that it distracts from the subject.  I know that some of you artsy photographers won’t find much here, but to me this invokes a great deal of feelings, and wonder within me.  I love the direct stare, which is something I rarely do but I wasn’t planning on doing anything with these photos, just trying to get the lighting right.  But in return I guess because we were both relaxed and comfortable with each other I think this came out really great.  I shot these a week before I saw the Edward Weston documentary, not at all comparing my work to his, but only mention it because of the photo of Charis staring straight into the camera.

I am looking for some models that would be interested in posing for me for a good while.  In return I’ll give you some photos for free.  I am looking to work with at least 10 models, to help me produce some stunning portraits.  My goals are to produce some classical studio work, and some location work as well.  So if you are interested give me a call at 562-396-4732

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2009 in photo, random thoughts

 

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Finally…

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2009 in photo, wedding

 

The Day has Arrived

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2009 in photo, wedding

 

A day to remember

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2009 in photo, wedding

 

On this Day…

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2009 in photo, wedding

 

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I’m Ready

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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