You know, when you start off in photography, reading the technical books and following the online tutorials, you’re led to believe that the perfect photograph is exactly that because it’s technically perfect. Well, guess what? I’m calling bullshit on that, once and for all! Sure, technically proficient images are great. A well exposed photograph matters. A well composed photograph differentiates your images from a snapshot. A pin sharp shot is preferable to a blurry, indiscernible shot. BUT…
you can have the most technically perfect shot on the block and, on viewing it, feel absolutely nothing.
Maybe I’m alone in this thinking, but I would sooner have 10 imperfectly technical photographs full of life, soul and emotion than one technically perfect shot that leaves me feeling cold. Always.
Photographs should invigorate the viewer. They should inspire you. They should trigger memories and thoughts and feelings. They should make you laugh, they should make you cry. And every other emotion in-between. Otherwise, what’s the point?
A super lovely photographer friend of mine has been worrying, recently, that she is not getting the shot because some of her images are looking “soft”. In all honesty, I suspect it has more to do with her equipment than her proficiency as a photographer, and I’ve reassured her of this. But ultimately, it doesn’t really matter! No shot is perfect when blown up to huge proportions, not even the most technically perfect ones. It’s unfortunately a side-effect of digital photography that we must all come to accept. But whoever blows up their images to billboard size anyway? In all honesty, most people rarely even get prints made these days (a sad state of affairs, I’m sure you’ll agree) so if an image looks a little soft, blurry or out-of-focus, who’s going to know?
I even intentionally blur images from time to time, because I like it and I can. If anyone asks, it’s art baby 😉
My point is this… as photographers we place too much pressure on ourselves to “get the shot”. We agonise for hours over whether a shot is worthy or not. Whether it can be presented to a client or not. We worry about little things like a little blur or soft images or crap-I-left-the-ISO-too-high-and-now-this-image-is-grain-city! But here’s the truth… our clients are (usually) not photographers. Our clients are camera-phone wielding, selfie-taking, occasional snapshot capturers. And I can pretty much guarantee that any shots you give them will be a thousand times better than any they would have taken themselves. Seriously!
Truly, lovely photographers, give yourselves a break. You are smashing this, more than you’ll ever know 🙂