How To Tuesday #25 - Photography Philosophy to get you Inspired / by Zack Smith

Phil-os-o-phy

 

fəˈläsəfē/

noun

  1. the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.

    • a particular system of philosophical thought.

      plural noun: philosophies

      "Schopenhauer’s philosophy"

    • the study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience.

      "the philosophy of science"

      synonyms:thinkingthoughtreasoning

      "the philosophy of Aristotle"

I particularly like when stories begin with the bold word, the phonetics and then the multiple definitions. You know you are about to get "learned". Over the past few years I have been jotting down my own photography related philosophies as they come to me in random moments of insight. Some I can apply to my own work and life, and others I can apply to my teachings.

In today's "How To Tuesday" instead of tips on shooting, editing, and the whole "work" aspect of photography I wanted to take a departure and talk about the "why". I feel that the WHY aspect of photography is often the culprit of why photographers (novice and pro) often hit a snag in their careers. For the novice, finding out "why" they are making photographs and what the hell to do with them rarely comes to their minds because they are so preoccupied with the "what" - as in - what does this button do? what do i press to get that "shallow depth of field", what lens gives me wide angle? Professionals often struggle with the "why" when after years of being truly inside the business side of the craft, they lose site on the creative and wonder "why" the work isn't inspiring them anymore.

My upcoming 6 week course that is being offered at The New Orleans Academy of Fine Art is a mentorship journey to help you find the "why" in your work. Why do we tell stories, why do we photograph? When the why is then answered, what then do we do with them? These questions and more will be tackled in June and July of 2016. Call 504-899-8111 to sign up or visit  to find out more.

Maybe some of these Photo Philosophies will jog some creative impulses in you to figure out your "why". Oh, and the inspirational poster rip offs are totally NOT coincidental.