OK. World events interested me today.
Donald Trump's wife, Melania, gave a speech that pretty much conveyed all the messages of a previous and much-lauded Michelle Obama speech.
And the subject of the speech: Honesty. Oops!
Who knows if she wrote it herself or it was written for her. It's certainly interesting to see this unfold.
But it got me thinking about honesty under another name in photography. Under the banner, for me, honesty equals authenticity.
I adore my field. I adore spending time on 500px, and Instagram, Pinterest etc marvelling at the work of others. Some say that subconsciously affects you - after all - it's the environment around us of which we are a product. One very noticeable example of that is our accents! But, it's always firstmost in my mind that even if working on a theme that is more widely associated with another artist, I want to know how I can work to make it and keep it authentic to me whilst exploring that genre. That isn't always easy. But I can give a straightforward example:
Kids 'Cake Smash' shoots and kids in pretend shark fin hats with tails.
I can't tell you how much they make my heart sink when I see them. Well, actually, I can tell you and I will. In cake smashes, I cannot see a powerful enough why? I cannot see a layer of anything that makes sense to me with this. I don't see a story there. It bores me, personally. And with the makeshift animal hats and Putting Baby in Basket - well, Anne Geddes has been doing this since the 1980s very very successfully. That is decades, my friends - DECADES. But, in remaining authentic to me, these kind of shoots do not make sense to my own spirit as an artist and as such, it would choke me to undertake those kind of shoots - believe me, I have been asked. I would feel, more than anything, that I had failed myself as an artist and as someone who is evolving and expressing herself through her own areas of work. I am a deep thinker and as such, I need layers. It excites my grey matter very nicely. I can see connections and reasons and imagine all kinds of explanations as to why great photos simply work in those I see.
Luckily, I don't have a scriptwriter! I do feel for the other 2 M's in the news today: Michelle (Obama) and Melania (Trump). But I know which of these women has consistently demonstrated her authentic layers upon which I'd prefer to construct a meaningful portrait. Michelle? Layer up - it gets cold on location shoots.