(Thanks to Mitch Krupp)
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Peter Wright: "Great pictures! This would seem to highlight once again that if you aspire to be a really good photographer, then photography itself is of secondary, or even tertiary, importance in the enterprise. In this case Pepper was interested in the people around her, especially the older women, and she wanted to tell their stories. So if you are interested in photography, first be interested in something else."
Bob Cook: "Great story. Thanks for posting. For me, it's hard to carry through on projects like this one. I've tried twice, and didn't have the interest, or commitment, or passion, or whatever it is, to keep moving forward. Out of both projects I ended up with maybe two images that I like a lot; wish I had worked more diligently."
Mike replies: I have the same problem, and similar regrets.
Huw Morgan (partial comment): "The number one tool in a portrait photographer's arsenal is empathy!"
Jim Simmons: "I struggle with the notion that a passion for a subject is necessary to fuel or inspire good work. I recall when I read this in a Bill Jay book—it made me work hard at figuring out what sort of photo project I should take on. And I came up blank (or with some really mediocre ideas). And then I thought about two of my favorite photographers, who, like I do, just go out and shoot pictures—Lee Friedlander and William Eggleston. Sure, they've both done some 'projects,' but I'd say the real essence of their work is quite simply the joy of seeing, of looking, of capturing their visual response to the world in a very personal and striking manner.
"And guess what—that's good enough! I can see that some people may need more scaffolding to guide their work, but if you are simply exploring how you see, then any subject matter will do. If they do undertake a 'project,' it's more along the lines of challenging themselves to a visual problem, not a subject matter documentation. (Yes, I know, Lee has shot trees, monuments, from the inside of cards, etc., but he was more working the problem than working the subject matter.)"