Sorry to break it to you, selfie lovers, but… you are every photo you have ever taken. Just like you’re everything you’ve ever written, everything you’ve ever fought for, and everything you’ve ever said. Like it or not, how you perceive the world is who you are, and a couple of years back, I would have told you to “find your style”. I am scoffing now because this is the single most pointless thing anyone could advise.
Usually in life, your style finds you, not the other way around.
To illustrate that, I’ve decided to reveal a *small* part about what makes me — me. Mostly, I got the idea from the wonderful discussion at Inbound where marketers from everywhere started randomly sharing their odd hobbies. (In my opinion, a community is strong and worth joining when it can be spontaneous and united like that.)
Some of you might know that I’m a multi-passionate or as Emilie Wapnick calls it — a multipotentialite. You can probably deduce that it’s a person with many interests and talents, who likes to explore pretty much everything they come across. It has resulted in some funny moments in my life like:
- The time when I was convinced I can do abstract paintings, sketched a quick “prototype”, bought a bunch of paints and brushes, and forgot about it the next day. OR the time when —
- I looked at some stunning data vizualizations, which inspired me to do some digging on data science and then looked for a course I could join, but when I realized it was too tech-y for my taste, I gave up.
The latter happened yesterday. Even though moments like that break my heart a little, they make life interesting and after all, nobody said I should stop enjoying those things, and I can always curate stuff.
Thing about photography: you capture what you see reflected.
This is something I realized on my last “crusade” around the world. Because you cannot be in Rome and not take pictures, it became a huge part of my daily routine. I’d walk around the city, taking photos and posting them online. (I had a weekly thing called “Sunday Shots”.) One day I even started watching tutorials and before I knew it, I wanted to be a conceptual photographer. And this is fucking conceptual photography:
It’s brilliant, isn’t it? (Click to see larger image.)
But because I’m not that good with Photoshop, I then chose the cop-out — abstract photography where you can pretty much capture anything and call it abstract. I mean, abstract is in the lens of the holder, right?
Hey, I can take a photo of a tree like the best of them!
But there was a flaw in my method. I was literally struggling to define myself and my art, which inevitably put me in a box. And I don’t like boxes.
Instead of trying to define what I did, I should have embraced what came naturally. Some of it was —
- taking photos of abandoned places
- doing macro shots of dirty cigarettes and dead leaves
- capturing abstract (and plain weird) textures
- taking shots of people and buildings from strange angles
- converting lively shots to dark existential portraits
At the time I thought all of this was boring. I wasn’t seeing these “techniques” anywhere else, so naturally, I assumed nobody would like them. But when you create art it shouldn’t be about others. It’s about you — how you see the world, how you fit in it, and all those times when you feel childishly curious and tantalizingly alive in it.
So in the name of this wonderful discovery, I will display a few of my favorite shots and let you interpret them for yourself instead of forcing my personality on your viewing experience. I’m not even going to try to censor myself or please you because this has to be about how I see things.
what this magic
will teach us
but if we
You mustn’t try to fit in the world, but the world must try and mold itself around your unique experience, and bring about the best of the best, so that you can capture its beauty the only way you can.
Then you can let others decide if it’s good or not. If you ask me, it is.