Visual Puns – Thesis Night and the importance of long-term personal projects

Last saturday was a big night for both Thomas and I. We presented our Thesis projects to a full-house at the NAIT Shaw Theatre. Thesis being a 4-5 month long personal projects where we selected our own theme to produce at least 15 images corresponding to it. My final presentation can be found below, and the high quality photos can be found in a gallery under the “projects” tab in the navigation menu.

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Seeing my images up there on the big screen (as well as all of my peer’s projects) made me have a better understanding and appreciation for photography from the perspective of someone who is not a photographer.

I’m constantly trying to hone and improve my craft, the quality of the work. Tweaking the fine details of a photograph, to the point where sometimes I can only see the things I would improve upon instead of the photo . This is important, of course. I want to always be hungry, desiring to improve my photographs. However, I had a moment of clarity, when I visualized what it must have been like for people seeing these photographs for the first time, and not really thinking so much about the technical.

Your photographs can wow people a couple of different ways. Really, truly impact them. The photo can be SO well done – with the lighting and production value of it, etc. – that it seems so impressive or interesting by that way. OR, it can have a great story behind it. Something meaningful that induces a smile, or a laugh, or even tears. More and more I’m realizing that in so many things the WHY can get you so much further than the HOW. Why are you making photographs at all, or why would you photograph that particular subject? Once you can figure out your reasoning, you can harness a great energy, that can push you past all of those road-blocks that come up along the way.

The logistics of a shoot will seem easy to overcome when there’s some real weight behind making it. Likewise, if there’s a real meaning behind a photograph, your passion will come through, and you’ll no longer have to worry about it being technically flawless or perfect. That’s not why we are photographers in the first place. We become photographers to capture the essence of something greater, not just an exact replica of what’s out there. So do yourself a favor, and every so often make something truly for yourself based off of something you really care about and find interesting. Really put yourself into the work. It’ll be the most revitalizing thing you’ll do, I guarantee it.



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