Photography is Feeling It

K Madhavan Pillai

K Madhavan Pillai

Here is an easy exercise for you. Buy a new diary and jot down your very own, personal definitions for photography. Begin with ‘To me, photography is’. End the sentence in another four or five words… shorter the better. Write down as many definitions as you can, within the next five minutes. If you have not been able to put down at least twenty definitions, you are thinking too much and need to start over.

To me, photography is about family and friends. Photography is faces. Photography is light. Photography is a frame around a space. Photography is a collection of memories. Photography is a love affair. Photography is a maths equation. Photography is the expression of an impression. Photography is ubiquitous. Photography is seeing with the inner eye. Photography is the space between breaths. Photography is meditation. Photography is silence. Photography is an opera. Photography is catharsis. Photography is rhetoric. Photography is here and now. Photography is a one-way ticket. Photography is a place with no names. Photography is madness. Photography is being awake for the very first time. Photography is feeling it. Photography is me.

Once you have your definitions written down, turn to a new sheet. Divide the page into two columns. Identify those definitions of photography that you currently put into practice, in some way or the other, when you make pictures. On the first half, write these down. On the other half, put down the rest of the definitions that you have written. Now read them all, once again.

The first half will be about the type of photographer you are at the moment. In all probability, the second half will tell you about the kind of photographer you aspire to be. There is no right or wrong answer in all of this. After this exercise, you may find yourself with a new sense of direction. At the very least, you will have made a great start with a new diary for penning down your photographic ideas and thoughts.

This article originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of Better Photography.

Tags: K Madhavan Pillai, photography, Editorial, december 2012