The Photographer’s Dilemma
So here’s the thing. As photographers, we’re overly obsessed about getting the “shot.” We crawl in the dirt, hang off ledges, distorting our bodies to nail that focus, all for that single picture. Worth it? Totally. But you see, one of the greatest ironies about being a photographer is that, being constantly behind the camera, the photographer seldom has pictures of himself. What about the photographer’s needs? Who’s going to be his photographer? This is what I call the Photographer’s Dilemma.
It’s a pressing quandary for most, that is, unless you’re a self-proclaimed narcissist like me. I have absolutely no qualms brazenly taking photos of myself, in my room, with all of the studio lights directed at me to accentuate my lines. I’m only a quarter kidding. Okay, fine, maybe half.
Jokes aside, I think we forget. We forget how imperative it is to be in front of the camera as much as we are behind it. If we aspire to become better photographers, we need to internalize how it feels to the subject of a photo. We need to embrace the discomfort from being scrutinized through a lens, the insecurity of not knowing where to place your hands and the fear of being criticized for our quirky mannerisms. Only when we’re able to be judged by our own craft are we able to transcend our role as photographers and become creative artists.
For my potentially final shoot with Twin, I wanted to try what I call impromptu photography. Modeled after my youthful days doing impromptu speeches in high school, I wanted to re-embrace that spontaneity. No script, no preparation, just creative vision. When Twin, Mike and I reached our destination - an alleged Nazi bunker nuzzled in the hills of Rustic Canyon off of Sunset - we mused over ideas for our shoot. When Twin whipped out my D-Pad and scribbled “HA!” I knew she was onto something.
That HA! transformed into a game of charades where the photographer would scribble a word/phrase/expression/drawing and the subjects would have to exemplify what was written down. From hungry hungry hippos to dancing with myself, I’ve found more than several ways to capture the spotlight. Suffice to say, I’m not a victim of the Photographer’s Dilemma. However, I might need to seek help for my narcissistic habits but that’s for another day. Enjoy :)
Location: Rustic Canyon
Gear: D700, 24-70 2.8