Recently, a friend sent me a link to a photographer’s work that he thought was “cool”. I love him and respect him dearly, but as for photography, we come from different places. I know for him, “cool” is as deep and profound as he can get. I’m not being insulting. As he would say, “It is what it is” , and I honestly understand what he means.
I had a look at the work. While I thought some of the images were interesting, I thought they were very “stock-like” in their execution. Very colorful, evenly lit from corner to corner, very well composed, very thought out in terms of their overall style. I am a photo editor by day, so I see all kinds of imagery. These did not really seem very different.
On further look at this photographer’s bio, I saw that he had some nice endorsements from some well know photographers and magazines. Kudos for him! Did it make me feel any different about his work? No. I felt the work was very decorative. Flat, lifeless. What did it show me about the world that I didn’t already know? What was it telling me about the person behind the camera?
Am I being too cruel? The work did made me question beauty, or if art should only function on level that was only decorative, or easily accessible. Would this make someone more apt to display it on their walls, more so then if a piece made you think, made you feel, having to look at it everyday, changing the subtlety of its meaning? Would you believe it more, or believe it less if was darker or lighter or called into question life and one’s existence? Would you believe it more if it gave you a different answer everyday?