1. CONNECT WITH YOUR IDEA ABOUT THE WORLD.
Spend time to discover what is your idea about the world around you, about what reality means to you and how you would like to transform it to suit your idea about a perfect world. Use this in your creative process aiming to transform the reality you capture with your camera the same way you would transform it in the real world if you had the power. Use the tools you have to match what you see in the outer world with what you see in your inner world.
2. CREATE WITH INTENTION.
Do not just produce photographs to accumulate images. Find the reason you want to do it by answering to the question: “I need to create this photograph because…”. Fill in the blanks every time you start creating an image and do not start if you cannot give an answer to why you do it or till you find that answer.
The words/ideas you will use to fill in those blanks will contain inside them your vision.
3 . PHOTOGRAPH WHAT YOU LOVE, NOT WHAT IS TRENDY.
Landscape photography, portraits or architecture may be at times trendy subjects that everyone likes to see. This is not enough reason for you to embrace that particular style though, if it is not what you love to do, if you do not have a real passion for it.
You will only manage to find and express your vision in a photographic genre you really love and feel close to your personality.
4. BE DIFFERENT, BE ORIGINAL, BE PERSONAL.
You are the only one that sees the world in your own way.
Search for that unicity, let it be your guide and express it in your work.
Show your true personality in your art and this will become your own style and the best way to express your ideas.
No one can express what you feel better than yourself, you are the most appropriate person to create your art, use that.
5. TRY TO CREATE UNCONVENTIONAL YET MEANINGFUL
IMAGES OF A KNOWN AND CONVENTIONAL SUBJECT, OR OF A FAMOUS PLACE/BUILDING.
This is one of the best ways of expressing yourself through your images.
Be unconventional and photograph your subjects like that even if some will not identify with them, because they are not what one would expect from that particular subject.
6. LEARN THE RULES OF ART AND COMPOSITION BEFORE
THINKING OF BREAKING THEM.
They will give you a frame which has to do with common sense and is the result of the long experience that those who created them (artists and art theoreticians) have in studying art.
You can modify this frame in time to suit your own system of values but having this base makes it easier for the mind to concentrate on INTENTION and VISION and not have to reinvent a world that has already been invented.
7. BE AN EXPERT IN YOUR STYLE OF PROCESSING.
No need to know Photoshop by heart, no one does, but you have to be very confident about your processing style and be able to reproduce anything you imagine using your processing skills.
Craftsmanship is instrumental in transforming your vision from idea to final image.
It is the most important step after having a vision and having captured an image to be the base for your creation.
A painter needs to know his colours and brushes, a photographer needs to know his camera and software.
These are your tools and there is no excuse for not knowing how to use them well other than not being interested enough in communicating your vision.
8. DO NOT DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.
Affiliate to a style, a genre, an artistic movement and use the general frame of that movement to guide your quest for vision.
Having ready the visual tools that a genre can offer will remove the stress of finding them and you can be free to concentrate on expressing yourself by using those tools.
Then, when you are sure of yourself and have found something unique, you can go on by yourself and even create new ways of thinking, new currents, genres etc.
9. EXERCISE, EXERCISE AND AGAIN EXERCISE OR IN OTHER WORDS: WORK, WORK AND AGAIN WORK.
There is no other way to learn your tools and discover a way of ex-pression than by doing what you do constantly, by practicing until you become one with your art and can easily express yourself using specific tools: images in the case of photography.
From experience I can tell you that nothing good comes without a lot of work and on the other side, with a lot of work there will always be something good coming.
There is no exception to this rule, believe me. If you dedicate yourself body and soul to what you do and if you do what you love, there is only one way the things can unfold eventually: you WILL get there!
This stands with life in general but especially with art.
Always have this in mind in times of doubt.
You will go through times like this in art, expect them to come, otherwise you are not an artist.
This happens because art is so subjective that sometimes you will be the only one believing in what you do and understanding it.
Stick to it and you will convince everyone if you try hard enough.
10. PRINT YOUR WORK AND STUDY IT.
Try to make a connection between what you think when you imag-ine a new photograph, what you do when processing and what you see as a printed result.
Always conceive and work on your images having in mind that they will be printed on paper and not seen on a monitor.
It gives you a totally different perspective that can determine the way you will create from then on.
11. TRY TO BE UNCONVENTIONAL EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
Nothing new is accepted from the beginning.
The aesthetic inertia should never stop you put your ideas into practice.
You do not need the approval of anyone else than yourself to create what you need to create, as unconventional as it may be.
Do it for you!
12. BE SELF-CRITICAL AND TRY TO SEE IN EACH IMAGE YOU PRODUCE IF YOU CREATED WHAT YOU INTENDED TO CREATE.
Be honest to yourself and always try to understand after you fin-ished working on an image if you gave to your vision the shape you intended, through the way you captured and processed your pho-tograph.
Here be merciless and do not let anything leave your hands to get out into the world unless you are sure that what you are pre-senting is 100% “you” and your vision.
13. SHOW TO THE WORLD ONLY THE IMAGES YOU CAN TOTALLY IDENTIFY WITH AND SEE IF YOUR “MESSAGE” WAS UNDERSTOOD BY OTHERS.
If you see that your message didn’t reach the viewer, go back to the beginning of the process and try to see if maybe you were not clear enough.
If you discover that the image is what you intended it to be, then you are right, if you have doubts, go back to the previous point and do not show images that are not 100% you.
14. BE PATIENT AND DO NOT LOSE HOPE, FINDING VISION AND DEFINING A STYLE DOES NOT COME OVERNIGHT.
Some work for years to find what they are looking for in art.
There is a common saying that speaks about one needing 10,000 hours of study and practice to get to the level of really mastering his field. While there are ways to speed this process up, this rule is generally true in the case of fine art photography, considering that besides the practical skills one needs to cultivate his eye through study and acquire theoretical knowledge too.
It is often experience and rather many artistic experiences combined that will get you to the point where you can say you found your vision and this process needs some time to be accomplished.
15. BE “SELFISH”! CREATE FOR YOURSELF AND FOR NO ONE ELSE.
Try to first please yourself with your art and do not bother about what others will believe. As long as you are not working on paid assignments, you have total freedom of expression, from choosing the subject to the manner you will present it.
Use this to your advantage and leave yourself free to express your inner world.
As a consequence you will start being in love with your own work and find inspiration in it.
16. CREATE FROM YOUR HEART, NOT FROM YOUR MIND.
Your vision might be a product of your mind and imagination, but everything starts in your heart.
We need our mind to process and interpret emotion so we are able to communicate it, but this emotion is triggered by what is happening in our heart and it aims to being understood by another heart not necessarily by another mind.
So it is very important to understand what is happening at the base when the emotion is being born and to allow for the process of creation to start from our heart.