Sunday, April 14, 2013

my week in instagram #41

mini instagram art project // acting in a film

It's been an exciting week. Coupled with last week, I've received several bits of exciting news. The first was that my photograph that made it into the Student Art Show at my college made it to the "second round," if you will, by being nominated by the professors for a Lippy Award, which is basically the highest honor at the Student Art Show. So students voted for the nominations and in a couple weeks the winners will be revealed at the awards ceremony. Cross your fingers! Another exciting bit of news is that my photography teacher "nominated" (not sure if that is the correct term, but it's the best one I got) me to submit a portfolio to the first annual photography awards at my school, where a panel of judges will look at everyone's portfolio and vote on the best one, which will also be revealed at the Student Art Awards. It's all very awesome and humbling and confidence boosting that my art is being recognized, especially when it's put in competition against people who are actually in advanced photography classes and who are older than me and who I really admire as photographers.

I've also been emailing my photography teacher about viewing photography as an art and what it means to be a photographer, and since we have been talking a lot about this recently, I just wanted to share some of the correspondence with you:

Up until very recently, I didn't consider snapshot shooters real photographers, and it wasn't until reading the words of Ansel Adams that I realized that even those candid photos have meaning, and sometimes greater meaning and emotion than the photographs that take hours to prepare for. For me, what it means to be a photographer, and really an artist in general, is to be able to adequately evoke an emotion from the viewer. If I can create an emotional response from the people who view my photographs, then I have succeeded as an artist. And the photograph in question shouldn't be confined to a fine art label, because simple senior portraits, fashion shots, and yes, even the snapshot can create deep emotions. Sure a photo can have perfect composition, perfect lighting, etc., but if it doesn't have that emotion, I would argue that it wasn't successful. So my argument is that it doesn't matter what label you give your photos, if they have that emotion, then they are art, and the person who created that art is a photographer and artist.

For the longest time I didn't consider myself a photographer or an artist, just someone who took pictures every day, due to the fact that I was constantly comparing myself to popular photographers while I was still a beginner. And while I think it's necessary to compare your work to others', especially within the business of photography, you should never be discouraged by their success. When people started taking note of my work and asking me to shoot them, that was when I began to consider myself a photographer. But now that I have been doing it for a while and I can look back on my journey so far, I think the moment I became a photographer was the moment I picked up a camera and began my first 365 project. That was the moment I took pictures seriously. Whether or not I was a good photographer was a different question, but in that act of creating that I began to undertake, that was the moment I put on the title of photographer, just like when a great painter picks up his brush for the very first time. It is that potential for greatness that labels us.

Well, this post has turned into a photography post again. Sorry about that, haha. In other news, the rest of my week (as revealed by my intagram), was filled with helping my friend Jenna with an assignment for her film class. I got to channel my inner Oklahoma girl (I used to live there) and be a cowgirl on the wild west. It was really cold and really fun.

I hope your week was fantastic!

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