I was recently asked to jury a photographic exhibit at a Chicago Gallery. I have mixed feelings about doing so as I saw merit in all the work. Every person has their own unique vision. It got me to thinking about the creative process once again....
There is nothing more meaningful than being true to yourself and finding your own voice. Follow your heart and don't let anyone discourage you. I once attended a portfolio review session providing feedback from four internationally renowned photographers. I had brought 20 photographs and saw each reviewer separately. In the end, I was surprised that each expert cared for different images, and had varied suggestions for how to continue my work. If each expert had been my teacher, I would have pursued four different directions, and lost my way.
It is vital for any artist to nurture and protect that which will make their vision unique. One needs to go inward instead of outward, and learn to trust your own inner guide, preserving your identity and finding the answers from within.
If you must have a rule to follow, I would suggest cultivating a dialogue with your inner voice, and photograph with your heart. If you listen to the clues your own images offer, the resulting work will be fresh, and authentic. Fall in love with your world and shoot a lot.
"Everything is gestation and bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own intelligence and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life. Being an artist means not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide." Rainer Maria Rilke