For the second part of this miniseries, I’ve chosen another thought from Brooks Jensen’s ‘What I’ve learned about photography’. The thought (or perhaps an observation) I want to write about today is:
Your success depends as much upon the viewer as it does on yourself.
For the start, this is less obvious than it may sound. We tend to think that if we do everything right, if we focus and give it all we can, it is very likely that people will like the photograph we created. But, as anyone who ever tried to do anything artistic in nature found out, this is not how it works. First of all, the viewer does not have the same emotional attachment to the photograph as the photographer himself. They don’t know when and how the picture was taken, what happened before and after or how hard it was to make it look as it does. All the viewer can judge is the impression the photograph makes on him. And that is as subjective as anything can be. People have different tastes and preferences and every photographer quickly finds out that when you show 10 of your best pictures to 10 different people and ask them to name their favourite, you are likely to get about six different answers. That’s completely natural and is to be expected. But it also shows that photographers personal preferences only rarely match with those of the viewer.