Genre doesn’t exist in photography:
Genre doesn’t really exist in photography or art. The notion of a genre comes from all these philosophers, academics, and nerds who want to categorize things to impose their own sense of power over the world. People categorize things, people, and art in order to make them “understandable”, comprehensible, because when we don’t understand other things or people, we get afraid.
Furthermore a lot of people want to categorize in order to flex their intellectual muscles. But categorizing things or people takes no real skill; and to be frank, to think about genres is mostly a waste of time.
Photographers don’t benefit from genres
We photographer-artists don’t benefit from genres. It restrict us more than benefitting us.
When we trap ourselves within a genre, we make ourselves more comprehensible to others, but we lose creative power. We become trapped within genres, and we prevent ourselves from making photos that are outside that genre.
Freedom is all
Let me give you an example: I have suffered a lot of downside by self-tyrannizing myself into only being a “street photographer”. It prevented me from allowing myself to photograph other stuff I was interested in.
The problem with genres is also there are tons of petty arguments over what belongs within a certain genre or not. For example there are a lot of people who try to classify what is and what isn’t street photography. But to me this is pointless; better for us to focus on just making photos that give us delight.
Shoot like you’ll live to be 120 years old in fantastic condition
If you were to live to be 120 years old in fantastic situation, wouldn’t you want to allow yourself to shoot all types of photography? The whole world is beautiful and amazing; why prevent yourself from shooting anything and everything? Don’t trap yourself inside a box!
- Don’t think of yourself as a photographer. Think of yourself as a visual artist.
- Shoot anything and everything you’re interested in.
- Treat your photography/artwork very seriously. Have fun with it and innovate for yourself for the sake of it.
Don’t trap yourself in a genre of photography.