Be Creative

As I’ve found in the past, its hard to write about creativity. All to easy to mouth platitudes and end up sounding rather soppy. And at times in his ‘The Creative ManifestoBen Sasso on PetaPixel strays a little into that territory. For me at least the pictures accompanying the piece don’t help in that respect (too sentimental for my taste, though many will react postively), and neither does the fact that he’s American. But the ideas are certainly good advice, and mostly things that I’ve urged on students and those who bother to read my advice over the years.

It’s best you go and read his article. But in precis (and a little of my own spin) his 10 points are:

1. Emotion beats aesthetics
2. Go the other way to the crowd
3. Use you own emotions
4. Be yourself in your work
5. Experiment, try new ideas
6. Don’t get hung up on technical perfection
7. Take time to think when you need to
8. Photograph what you enjoy
9. Know your craft and study your medium
10. Get weird!

I don’t think there is anything new in any of these, and I’ve heard or read them all from many great photographers over the years, from Cartier-Bresson on. But there is also plenty of bad advice out there, confusing means with ends and more. And being a more creative photographer isn’t necessarily going to make you more commercially succesful – which is often rather more about business and people skills than your photography.

Although I came across it through PetaPixel, it’s better to read this on Sasso’s own site, as I couldn’t get some of the links to work from PP, and that ‘weird’ gif is worth seeing.

You can also read the comments, which though I don’t think they add anything in terms of content do show how this piece has been enthusiastically received by other photographers. Most of us at times feel we are in a rut.

There’s also another article on the same subject published on the same day on PP, ‘On Creativity: Seek Failure‘ by UK photographer Jacob James. Again  you can also read it on his own web site.

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