Photo Essays is a series on the Phoblographer where photographers get to candidly speak their mind about a specific subject or project of theirs. Want to submit? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In today’s world where we are constantly bombarded with photos of spectacular locations, it takes nothing to pull up a location search for an area you are visiting, find the shots that you want to take, and go shoot the same thing that a hundred people before you have taken. But that doesn’t mesh with me. As an artist, I hold my personal creative vision above all other things. It far surpasses the gear that I use as well as the locations that I visit.
The majority of the personal work that I shoot, I do so within 15 miles of my house. And I don’t live in a particularly “epic” location that is known for its scenery (i.e. the PNW or Cali). But even though I only live in the midwest, I still get to be an artist. I just have to try harder and put a ton of work in to my craft. A lot of that comes down to scouting my locations in advance, and waiting to shoot at the perfect time, with just the right combination of weather and light to add that dynamic mood and interest. I’m not saying that taking the iconic photos is bad, but it can put you in a rut where you are only going through the motions.