No matter how long a person has been taking pictures, there’s always an element of unconscious pressure to make “good”photos. That constraint, no matter how slight, affects one’s ability to see with fresh eyes.
That’s where social media comes in handy. It’s the casual sharing of images, and that, I have discovered, can be a wonderful thing. I was always resistant to getting involved in social media, because, honestly, how many pictures of someone else’s dinner or vacation or night out do I want to see? But one day I saw a friend’s Instagram images, and I was really impressed. They were interesting shots; they were sketches. That’s when I signed up. Since then I’ve let my iPhone sketch. At other times I post a work in progress. Or I notice an outtake from a shoot, an image I overlooked before, and after I post it I end up using it as the basis for a new shoot.
Another example is this painting at MOMA that caught my eye. I shot it with my iPhone and posted it on Instagram.
Several weeks later, I was looking at some landscapes I had shot in Belgium and that I wanted to use for palladium printing. I came upon a picture I didn’t even remember taking, and it was perfect for what I wanted to do. I don’t know if I would have noticed it if I hadn’t “sketched” that painting at MOMA. The few minutes it took to post that picture stamped an idea into my brain. It took me in a new direction.