How Dare You Not Shoot Like Me!

Getting my Barbara Kruger on; this thought is this — many photographers get angry or upset that you don’t shoot and make photos like them!

We all have a different style and view of photography. But the sad thing is everyone is a bit of a photography tyrant: they want you to shoot like they do!

This is the problem: we all think that everyone should think like us, act like us, and live like us. This is what causes cultural insensitivity, xenophobia, and lack of human empathy.

Essentially as much as I love Henri Cartier-Bresson, he was the ultimate photography tyrant. He believed that everyone should shoot like him (only 50mm, black and white, decisive moment style, etc).

And the sad result, all these influential young photographers in Magnum adopted the same ethos (Alex Webb, Constantine Manos, Rene Burri). But fortunately they broke from the shackles of Henri Cartier-Bresson, and followed their own voice and paved their own path. Even William Eggleston, who is famous for color, started off in the black and white Henri Cartier-Bresson tradition!

If you’ve ever shot black and white street photography, chances are you’re highly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson, either consciously or without you knowing it. You might have learned about the decisive moment on the internet, in photography classes, or through other photographers. Tradition runs deep.

But ultimately my suggestion for you my friend is this:

Pave your own path in your photography and life, and don’t let anyone else superimpose their beliefs on you, without your permission!

Shoot how you want to shoot, and ignore anyone else who tells you otherwise.


Photography Philosophy

Cindy with framed hands. Saigon, 2017

Photography Philosophy 101

Personal Photography Philosophy

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