Recently I heard a discussion about photography and fine art. The presenter had a very interesting pairing of words that I think embrace the difference if photography is art. My take on the words is creator vs technician. I think these two words fully embody the tension in the discussion. But what do the words mean? What do they communicate in the discussion of art and photography?
Well what is a technician? A technician is the photographer that can manipulate the camera to get the settings right. They can get the proper exposure. They also might know how to set up lights in a particular setup, typically a standard setup like three point lighting or clam shell lighting. They can go outside to take a landscape and do X, Y, and Z and pull off a shot. The technician can do very formulaic work. They can pull off senior portraits all day long. They can do landscapes easily. But there is nothing unique that someone else could not easily do as well. It is hard to tell who did the photo because it looks like something a lot of people do.
Another thing is to start shooting things other than what you normally shoot. Be willing to stretch into new places. And for models that might be reading this figure out how you can go for it too! Take a look at the photo of Chelsea as a mad hatter. She wore me out with intense and incredible poses. She took the character and took it to the edge. In the process she created memorable! The worst thing that can happen in being creative is to be tentative. Tentative will give weak images or performances. So go out and don't be tentative. Go out and be great.