"The great thing about photography is it changes the way you look at things." - Andria Lindquist
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We all see things through our own eyes, and interpret through our own minds.
The most scathing criticism I've ever received came from about a 14-year-old girl (estimating her age as best as I could tell).
She had been looking through some of my prints, and announced out loud that all I did was take pictures of random stuff and tried to sell it.
It was like I was in high school again. I felt so exposed. For a moment, I wondered if she was right.
Her snarky comment stuck with me. Maybe I'm not the artist I see myself as.
Ironically, I was redeemed later when a couple gravitated to the particular photo that the girl had referenced. They loved it so much that they bought it, and told me it would be perfect to hang in their home.
Me 1, some little girl 0.
It all snapped back into focus for me. The girl didn't see what the couple saw.
In the theater of the girl's mind, I was uninspired. I had only turned on a camera and snapped it blindly at a subject. Anyone can do that.
In the theater of the couple's collective mind, they envisioned the print in a specific room in their house. They saw the value of what I had to offer. They saw what I saw. They got it. My photograph meant more to them than the money they were holding.
Photography can tell a story. Photography can speak to people. It can be a statement, from a photographer to an audience.
Sometimes I need a little brat, or something like a movie to snap things back into focus for me.
I posted the above video link because I wanted to share Andy Newman's remarkable documentary with my little corner of the universe.
The 25-minute movie explores the artistic passions of a professional photographer, Andria Lindquist, and an amateur photographer, Cory Staudacher. While Lindquist follows a mostly traditional photography business model, Staudacher only uses a mobile phone camera and posts photos to Instagram.
I first watched the documentary well over a week ago, but haven't been able to get it out of my mind. It's inspired me to improve my own photography. It's forced me to change my deep-rooted beliefs of what photography is and should be.
My life is photography. And this documentary changed my life. So, yeah, it's kind of a big deal.
"I think one of the biggest things with being creative is being willing to try stuff out," Lindquist says.
"I just go with my gut. You have to trust yourself that going with your gut and with your eye will turn out, and be what you want it to be."
This documentary reminded me (sometimes I need that) why I fell in love with photography in the first place.
Someone who doesn't see what I see can't ruin that love. Yet someone who does see it can make it even stronger.
Don't be anti-social. If you wanna be my friend, just say so (or if you wanna like, follow, share, poke, etc.):
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To reach me directly, call or text me at 225-717-0762.
Michael Tortorich Photography is based in south Louisiana.