Today, I’m going to talk about beauty for its own sake. So why talk about beauty?
Why even talk about it at all? Those of you who have listened to a lot of my talks, I focus on mostly other things than just pure beauty. I don’t shoot photographs specifically just for beauty. And I think sometimes that can be a hindrance, especially if we start to become willfully walled off to beauty. I had a really interesting conversation with a friend of mine who is an architect, and we talked quite a bit about beauty, and he shared some of his frustrations with how a lot of modern design doesn’t, and art, very specifically tries to go in a different direction than beauty, and his argument was that we have, as humans, sort of a wired in need for beauty, and that’s why beautiful things draw our attention.
I was actually planning on talking about something else. I decided to take a second and cut a bouquet of roses for … just because it’s nice to have in the studio. They’re beautiful and they smell amazing. And while I was doing that, I spent about five, maybe as much as 10 minutes, I deadheaded some of the rose bushes too, and I was just thinking about roses and how over thousands of years, well hundreds of years maybe, probably not thousands, but hundreds of years, people, humans have cultivated roses specifically because they’re beautiful. They’re kind of a pain to make pretty, you’ve got to work with them, you’ve got to water them, you’ve got to feed them, you’ve got to clip them in just the right way, and cut away the dead flowers if you want to really keep them beautifully blooming, and they have thorns, so every time you work with it, you get stabbed in the hands. They’re not really that fun to work with. But they produce roses, which are amazing. They’re so beautiful.
So as I meditated on my roses this morning a little bit, I thought there’s a powerful analogy with photography, and really it goes beyond photography to most creative work. It’s important that we take a moment, and when we see something beautiful, it’s okay to just take that in and enjoy it and bask in the glory of how beautiful something is. Like roses. So there you are, Here’s your tip for today. If you see something beautiful, and you’re compelled to shoot a photograph of it, don’t hesitate. Do it. You may wind up with a photo that feels a little bit cliché or isn’t something that you ultimately wind up using because it’s one dimensional, and that often happens, but the process of indulging our sentiment about beautiful things is so valuable, and it’s an important part of being human. So there you are. I hope this was helpful. As always, thank you for your time.
If you have any ideas or questions you’d like me to explore in a future post, just drop me a comment and I’ll work it in. Until next time.