Recently the idea around photography as a voice has been running through my mind. Somewhat relating to the idea of these trends that I've mentioned in photography, it begs the question of how we want our voices to be heard? How can we differentiate? For anyone that loves an art, our voice is arguably the most important aspect of everything we create. It can arguably be the most important thing to anyone out there. It shows the world how you view things as an individual. These trends that have begun to appear are the photographic equivalent of someone copying the mannerisms, voice and personality of some else.
Ask yourself this: "If I was in a room full of people, would I want to sound exactly like the person next to me?" If the answer is yes, you know exactly what I mean. It's hard for me to imagine that a room full of people who act and sound exactly the same would be any fun at all. There needs to be different ideas, voices and personalities present, this is how things are kept interesting. This is also how we begin to learn more about ourselves and what it means to be able to have this unique voice.
I am a firm believer that from day one, our personalities and ultimately our voice is created and curated from all of the different people that we come into contact with. The strongest influences are the people that you see as inspirational or wise and have that "something" that seems almost unattainable that you've been looking for. Now, here lies the line between idolization and admiration. We should by all means try to emulate the best qualities of the people we look up to, after all thats where the idea of role models come from. However, it seems almost all too easy for people to sprint across this line and try to become a carbon copy of what we see in hopes it will allow for some sort of appeal to the general public.
When you're crafting an image, of the biggest things that should be focused on is the creation of something new, different and powerful. Now I won't sit here and say that each of images are the most unique or most powerful but I can guarantee you they were shot with those ideas in mind. It only leaves room for growth and improvement. This process of cultivating your own voice and ideas on the world is what makes us individuals and what, at least in my head, keeps things interesting.
This same idea can be applied to photographs as well. Many of us have favorite photographers who inspire us to spend hours on their websites or Instagram feeds studying and enjoying their most recent work. When I have the time, frankly that is one of my favorite things to do. It's a phenomenal way to stay up to date with what has been done and if you're lucky you are able to stumble across work that inspires you to create something equally, if not more inspiring. If you truly want to stand out amongst the crowd, the development of that voice is paramount.
I've found that the desire for some unique voice and style and true creativity has started to fall to the back burner. It could be argued that trying to closely emulate these established styles is a stepping stone to developing a voice. If that is the case then we all must be careful to not get too comfortable and ensure that the next step is taken.