That's a Michael J. Bambuch photo...
Oh, site is revamped. I don't want to spend too much time on this. It took me way too long to get things straight on here. It looks amazing on a desktop but I'm still not happy with the mobile representation of the site so I'll be quarreling with square space for the rest of the day. I hope you enjoy it. The template is a little more forgiving to photographers and I really like how you can swipe through galleries instead of just scrolling up and down.
This quandary of my mind may have lost some steam as it popped in my head a couple days ago in a violent night of racing thoughts but I will try anyway. I have a bad habit of looking at too many people's work. I think it takes up way too much of my time. I'm not specifically measuring mine against theirs, I'm just looking. I guess sometimes, I get jealous. Well, jealous is an inferior word because I feel it's too primitive to describe what I feel. I see consistency in other people's work. I see a pattern that repeats that (sometimes) might raise some red flags in my head. When you look at any great or notable photographer you can generally see a constant theme. Sure, at times their body of work might veer off on occasions but as a whole you can tell a group of Avedon pictures from a Ritts or even a Leibovitz. I've just got this pit in my stomach at the moment that makes me feel like this is a real naive battle I fight in my head. Anyway, my point is I can't see a constant thread within my work. Well I can, it's just not an apparent, in your face, thread. Why? Is it because I'm still a baby? I'm still a photographer finding his voice? I'd like to think I'm not. I approach a lot of work I do with a formula in my head that I feel is, constant. What's not constant is how I apply that formula. Every shoot, every concept I feel I complete is lit differently, processed differently and handled inconsistently.
Something grinds my gears. (I apologize this is a slight tangent on the mike train) I am a part of this very large facebook group called, the rising tide society. It's huge and encompasses many creatives and small business but a good percentage are photographers trying to grow their businesses. The concept of presets came up in a discussion and people were heralding how much time they save(they do save time) and how it makes their workflow easier(they do that also) but if you're not creating those presets and purchasing them, is it your style? Someone commented, "oh it made me find my style so much easier." I think that's a fucking cop out. You select some "vintage" film preset and now it's your style. Fuck that man, or woman. Style is not bought, it's not borrowed. I think to buy a preset and then say that's what your style is sucks.
Maybe because the digital world is so wide open? The possibilities of anything to look like anything are endless. When you had film you were more pressed to be a photographer that could utilize aperture and composition. I know of all the tricks in the darkroom but that world was smaller. Film type was the biggest decider of some aesthetic. Maybe I'm wrong in saying that. Maybe I'm not. I feel like my rambling argument is starting to make no sense or less sense.
Insecure, that's the word. It's not jealousy. I'm insecure that my work just has so little Mike Bambuch in it. This also stems from me watching way too many lighting setup videos on creative live and becoming overwhelmed that there are 100 mediocre ways to light someone and get the job done.
But then there is that part of me that just says, fuck that. Why would I want to sit there and light something the same way 100 times and call it a day. Is that style? No it's wicked boring. A part of me wants to say, fuck it, I'm going to see every opportunity differently and whatever fits that specific shoot, I'm going to use it even if that means my work looking like 1000 different things.
I really should just write this in a journal and not on a website. But oh well, this is also partly why I started this website. To question myself, to question photography, to just ramble. Maybe the answer to this is that I just want to be more confident in the formulas I use. There are some I am very comfortable with and then others I fear. I want a lot of tools god dammit. I want to be good at them all. I want to paint the image in my brain with light.