I often look at the photos in my portfolio and say to myself, “My Photographs Suck”. They didn’t suck when I took them, they didn’t suck when I was post-processing them, the didn’t suck when I posted them to my various social media and photo sharing sites like 500px or ModelMayhem. But after a few weeks go by and the emotional high of the shoot has worn off, I start to see the flaws, the piece of hair I should have cloned out, the bright spot in the upper left I should have darkened, the awkward left arm of the model. Man this photo sucks!
Real Questions. Real Answers.
I’ve often thought that I was the only one who felt this way about my photographs, until I read Zack Aria’s latest book, Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers. (Voices That Matter). This book is a collection of over 100 questions asked by the public that Zack answers in a very straight-forward and honest way. Many of the questions are about losing one’s artistic spark or feeling like a phony. Zack’s answers show that not only does he constantly have self-doubt, but that he daily thinks he is a phony or that his work doesn’t come close to be as good as his peers, etc. What really makes his answers hit-home is how genuine and truthful Zack is about his own inner demons, and lack of self-confidence. He thinks his photos suck, and points out that is just the nature of a creative to feel this way.
There are a lot of other questions in the book that deal with gear and some of the technical aspects that I already feel like I have a good handle on, but the majority of the book gives great insight into the issues that face all photographers. Such as not having time to shoot, not having an audience, not knowing how to price your work, etc.
I read the book over a couple of days and immediately started reading it again. It’s rare for me to re-read a book, and is a sign of how much valuable information is covered. I highly recommend this book to all photographers, no matter what genre you shoot you will find some useful information. You will also discover that you are not the only one who gets frustrated by they work and thinks it sucks.
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