Bryan Formhals’ call to photographers:
Most photographers have a blog. And many photographers have blogs where they just post photographs…but the thing to keep in mind is that it’s incredibly easy to post photographs. It doesn’t take much, and tons of people are doing it.
Photographers should write more, and I don’t just mean about photography. I want to read about their daily lives, their motivations, the funny stories, the challenges, the frustrations, the big breaks, the heartaches, the new ideas, the failed projects, their weird new obsessions, etc.
I think the reason why we photographers sometimes don’t write as much is because we see it as a skill that we rather leave to the kind of people who can march their words like wooden soldiers. We all commit so much to the act of wanting to write so well that the actual thought of it strains us so we just let our camera do all the communicating.
There’s very few photoblogs I subscribe to and ironically enough, I’m not sure if you would classify sites like Adam Marelli, Fiftyfootshadows, David DuChemin, Eric Kim or Alex Garcia’s Assignment Chicago as a photoblog because they do more than just “post photographs”. They write. I may not know them personally but I have a much further understanding of the type of people they are through their ideas and opinions.
I consider the opportunity of publishing anything as an invitation to share something other than just a photo. For me there’s something too casual, too normal about just uploading photos without the occasional commentary.
As a photographer, I want to admire your work as much as everything else that drives you to do it and the only way for us to know anything about it is for you to write more.
I’m far from being a decent writer but I don’t let that stop me from spending a few hours believing I’m typing something great. If you’re like me and you’re thinking your writing may not be good enough, take Bryan’s advice and opinion to heart.
Photographers shouldn’t lose sleep over their prose. Instead, they should focus on communicating their ideas and telling their stories. That’s what I want to read from photographers.