Finding Your Version of ‘Right’

 

We’re often told to not rush into the moment and pause before pressing the shutter. In this brief recess, we’re expected to consider the frame in front of us, and decide whether we’re absolutely sure about making the picture. There should be intent, especially in a world where it has become so easy to record images. But does this apply to someone just starting out in the medium? I don’t think so.

I remember when I began my journey in photography, I would spend hours searching for the right time and subject to photograph, without really knowing what this ‘right’ looked like. There was intent, but no vision to make it possible. Maybe it was the ‘right’ that I saw in other people’s pictures, which I never seemed to find in my own. But because I was new and adamant, and had restricted myself, I never quite discovered it. Gradually, I found myself shooting less and less, and as a result, I wasn’t learning much.

That’s when I decided to let go. In a way, I became a little impulsive, and began photographing everything, even the subjects I knew that wouldn’t receive a second glance, let alone a first one. Don’t take this as arrogance, but I was hell-bent on subduing this raging hunger within me, to shoot everything I laid my eyes on. After keeping at it for several months, I finally began to separate moments and let go of the inconsequential ones. This was important, because from here on, I knew I would be spending a lot more time refining my vision. You see, I had already found the ‘right’, my version of it.

I apply the same concept when it comes to sharing my work on social media too. For the most part, I avoid fretting too much over whether a picture works technically or not. I have one criteria—does the photograph stir any emotion within me? Weeks or months later when I scroll through my Facebook or Instagram feed, I am able to see how much I have progressed, and at times, I even giggle at my choices. Having this visual evolution is crucial I think, as it is a reminder of where you began and how far you’ve come.

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of Better Photography.

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