Wealth of knowledge or over loaded?

In a day when we can go to the internet or scour youtube for much needed information, I would like to pose a question.  Are we blessed with a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips or over loading our brains with too much information?

It’s easy for me to see both sides with what I do for a living.  I can learn faster, and as an artist my style has developed and changed faster because of all the images that pass by my eyes in a given day.  But just about every week, I take a moment an pause and think about how much time I may be spending “gathering” knowledge and try to put the brakes on to see how it may be hindering time that I’m actually learning on my own.

Absorbing knowledge or photo-copied knowledge. 

I have to enter into this from an artists point of view because that is who I am, so I apologize for using my own reference points and hope you can relate it to your own.

I can look at an image from another photographer, or I can see a certain “pose” that I’m fond of done by someone else – and trying to remember a specific thing like a pose makes me cringe.  Every time in the 25 years that I’ve been a photographer that I have tried to mimic an image of another, it is a struggle, it is uncomfortable, it isn’t me.  I see some photographers out there trying to “duplicate” an inspiration shot and part of me says they are learning and the other part of me says they are just photo-copy machines.  They can make their images look good only because they are copying what they have seen.

Trying to find yourself as an artist.

People ask all of the time “who inspires you” and I think the question that prompts me to look at myself is actually “what inspires you.”  What inspires me is how people move, the colors in nature, the personalities of a person, and the study of light and how it bends around a room.

Inspiration boards.

Pinterest – although definitely is an additive endeavor; allowing you to hoard all of this eye-candy of inspiration onto a single page right before your eyes is defeating in personal inspiration at times to me as well.  Clients bring in sheets of what they love, but as an artist it can definitely stunt your creativity – you are trying to make your work look like “the board” and then I have to ask.. how much of YOU is in your work?

LOVE OPEN DISCUSSION.

While I personally find it more important in my own growth to study the basics of light, shadows, colors, smells, and movement/interaction to help me find my best work.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the instant access of “how to’s” available to us as photographers or artists and if you find it more as an inspiration or push to grow or if spending so much time “looking” and quick learning may defeat the purpose of your own art?

For photographers:  When it comes to the actual session and you are creating a portrait – what is in your  mind?  Are you thinking about trying a “pose” or are you studying your subject how they move, how the light is on them and how you are going to get them to respond to you naturally?

ok… now… your turn.

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