Set Yourself Apart by Finding and Photographing the Extraordinary
We are currently living what will probably be known in the history books as the photography era. With the massive growth of consumer adoption of digital cameras and cell phones as part of their daily lives, we are taking and sharing photos at a rate the world has never experienced before. Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google+, and other photo-centric social networks have all changed the world from one that took photos here there over the course of a year, to one where literally millions of new photos are uploaded daily.
While the variety of photos that pass our eyes every day is greater than ever, what is more amazing is the volume of high quality images that we see every day. From our newsreaders, billboards, email and social networks – we are treated to so many beautiful images that we’ve become desensitized to images that are merely beautiful. What our brain hungers for now are those images that captivate us and cause us to give an image more than a passing glance.
In my conversations with curators and photo editors what I’ve discovered is that what they look for in an image has evolved well beyond just a great image that has been well composed. What they look for is now, more than ever, are images that feature the extraordinary. They see something different from the image that makes you stop and think “I’ve never seen that before”. They look for the image that grabs your senses and causes you to put your energy into staring at the image for something your brain has never recorded before.
Think about this the next time you are out looking for a subject to shoot. If an image is familiar to your brain then it will be to others, so if you see something – anything – that makes you pause – that’s where you need to focus your energy shooting. Even if you might think at first that it’s ugly (as I once did about the motorcycle featured in this article), that’s the time to try summon all of your skills to make it beautiful.
This is my challenge in my photographic journey, and I encourage you to adopt it as well. It will make you a better photographer and often times it will make you a little money as well!