Finding my Visual Voice
Recently, I read David du Chemin’s book “The Visual Voice” because I was intrigued by what he meant by a visual voice. For him, this is not about a photography style, but more about what we want to communicate and portray with our photographs. I did some of the exercises in the book and shared some of my thoughts on social media.
The first was to write an artist statement about my art, which is at the present moment, photography. Who am I as an artist, who am I becoming?
Just as I’m growing towards wholeness in my life, so I align my photography with that philosophy and way of living as a holistic photographer, asking “What is the essence of the thing?”
I look at everyday things from a different perspective. I believe there is so much detail to see, if we only stop and look for it. I hope my photographs express what I see in my world, as I move through life. Both the natural and man-made worlds hold this detail, if we care to look for it. The shape and texture of a leaf or the geometry of a building.
My next questions is: “Do my photos represent my approach to life?“
This is a two-part question for me. First: what I want to say with my photos?
I want to them to say: “Look around you. I mean, really look. Take notice. Shift your perspective, look closer. Look into the spaces where light and shadow play together. Notice the detail, the small things that make up the whole. Look at the textures. Trace the shapes. Look at how the elements fit together“.
Then, do they represent my approach to life?
I’d like to think that my photos are the driving force for forcing me to slow down and appreciate the world around me and to engage more deeply with my environment. Growing into being the photographer that I am has taught me many things:
- To see and represent the world the way I do
- To appreciate the complexity and beauty of the natural world as well as the ingenuity of human spaces
- To look at the wholeness and the details of the world with wonder and curiosity
I’d like your help. Do you think my photographs express the way I see the world?
But what about my creative voice? My writer’s voice? How do I find those? Are they the same as my Visual Voice?
A card I draw often in my Oracle Card readings is the Canary (from Colette Baron-Reid’s Spirit Animal card deck). The message is to “sing my own song” – to find my authentic voice and express what is in my heart, to let the world know who I really am. In what Colette calls Protection Mode (i.e. the card is reversed / upside down), I am asked if I am suppressing my own voice in order to say what other people want to hear or to fit in. Am I telling a safe story?
Why is this so important to me?
Why do I keep warbling on about this? I think I have my Visual Voice covered – I know why I take photos and what I want them to represent.
Read the second part of this here, where I explore if I am managing to find my writer’s voice.
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