When I think of expressive photographs, I think of all those artists who decided to use their imagination, techniques and composition to create their images. They are artists who “invented” images in a style that is highly personal and subjective. They are not afraid to breaks all the rules, and no one opinion stopped them in their artistic pursuits.
Don’t get me wrong. The basics of photography must still be learned, of course: how to set your camera, how to compose an image, how to use light to attract the eye, etc. But beyond the basics, the content and style are “invented” by the photographer.
Perhaps you were brave enough to show your creative images and received feedback that keeps you from creating images in a way that feels more natural to you. My own photographic journey, and I’m pretty sure mine is very common for most photographers, started with “rules driven” image- making. Everything needs to be sharp, use the rule of thirds when composing, do this, don’t do that, and so on. The list is long and exhausting. Most of us, when starting photography, had this idea that to be a “real photographer” one had to do straight photography.
After many years of trying, and being frustrated with all the rules, I took a hard look at what truly made me happiest and which artists’ work I gravitated to. I realized that for me, photography is about colour, simplified forms and expression – and less about perfection or meeting the expectation of others.
Open your awareness to your own inner artist, your interests and fascinations. What brings you joy? What kind of images make your heart sing? Study them, learn from them and then make more of them. Creativity is a way of approaching life, not a talent that some are born with and others are not. Your mission is to cultivate your own unique creativity. And remember, we only have to please ourselves.
If you are ready to release yourself from straight photography and embrace a colourful and new personal, expressive style, check out my book, Transcendent Light – a practical guide for everyone who wants to create expressive impressionist photographs. (I have a special offer at the moment so check it out).