NOTE: This is just something I can look back and reassess in the future and most importantly, it is just an opinion.
I am reaching a point in my life in which I really need to start considering where I am and where I should be heading. I have spent two whole years studying Fine Art and I am due to start my third. The thing is with my course along with now 80% of courses nowadays which covers a range of subjects, which tends to leave a very broad career path.
For me that is a problem, my course encourages the individual to always critically apply yourself towards your own work positively and negatively. They also encourage you to engage in something you really believe and are actually willing to really investigate into. With that they would like to see you creatively express your conclusion/what your research has lead to so far. I would say that is the just the surface of what Fine Art is about.
My chosen path in this course is lens based, so mainly Photography and Film in which I am thoroughly very passionate about until recently. Being on this course has made me more aware and critical towards pretty much everything because you have to constantly ask “why?”. Even when you do reach an answer you would then naturally question the answer you just reached with another “why?”.
Its good to be curious right?
And so the “why?” has finally made its way round to what I would probably consider one of the larger part of my life since I first discovered Power Rangers as a child. That is Film and Photography, notice how I switched them around because photography started it all of 5 years ago, but right now I see myself as more of a film maker.
So then I ask myself “why do I do what I do?”, “why do I do Photography?”, “why film?”, “what defines me from everyone else who has the same interests as me, if there is any definition?”. Funny thing is, I have never actually questioned something I like and I feel that the moment I start questioning is the moment I start to lose my grip on it.
I see so many people who ‘loves photography’ and say that it is ‘their way of expressing how they feel’. They love street photography and being able to ‘catch that one moment at the right time’. I fully respect people that feel that way towards what they would call their life/hobby/interest, because I felt the same until I took my course 2 years ago.
I realised that what I am doing by choosing lens based as my path is making an attempt to take my ‘interest away from life’ and trying to make it into my life. I then took this further by working as an assistant to a photographer/film maker who works in the commercial realm. Because of the nature of how a Fine Art course would encourage you to actively question everything you do, I began to critically respond towards photography and film making. The basic conclusion would be that the commercial realm is clearly fake and that a large percentage of photography is untrue. I feel this is the same categories such as ‘street photography’ which is down to the fact that you the photographer framed the shot which already brings in a huge false element into it.
Because I have started answering my own questions I have found it very hard to go back to how I felt 2 years ago which is saddening because right now I am not able to give a simple and innocent description as to why I do film/photography.
For me having worked for a year in the ‘money making’ side of photography has really exposed the true nature of photography and the motives each image is trying to sell.
Of course editing is a core part of film and photography which is also what I enjoy most. However, my artist side is also fully aware that I am tearing away from the original, further altering what was already originally altered.
So then I feel that if i keep on this possible career path of commercial/general film/photography editor, am I going to possibly end up taking my ‘interest away from life’ and making it my life with me ending up with no interest left in what has so far been a massive part of my life? Or maybe in the future I would hopefully be able to find a balance between the two.
I have one year left in University and a lot could change in a year but I am saying all this a year before I graduate because I know the third year functions in exactly the same manner as the previous two which is to leave you to develop on your own.
And so the same question stands. “Why do I do what I do?”
I guess the best answer I can give myself is because I do. After all the above I know I am still looking for a more rounded answer which is why i’m still assisting and editing for commercial photography.
Maybe it is because I don’t want to accept that photography is a lot more than what it should beautifully and simply be in the real world.
Alternatively I could just become and artist, but that would just be the easy way out wouldn’t it? (sarcasm)