Tensions high, tempers frayed. Sounds like a normal 4th day of any Shooting Home workshop. Main take away points:
- When you are working on a documentary project, it's important to realize that your responsibility is to the people you are documenting. You have to respect them and their opinions and not try to force your opinions into the story.
- As an artist, you may feel that your work and style are your own and that at the end of the day, all decisions are yours. However, it's not always practical to work in a vacuum, especially if it's not a particularly introspective piece of work. When showing your work to other photographers, remember that when all of them point out deficiencies in your technical skills and offer solutions, it would be wise to take note. Personal vision will only get you so far when poor technique make your photographs difficult to look at, much less appreciate.
- When working on a documentary, don't spend so much time looking at things that don't change trying to figure out how to shoot them differently. Instead, talk to the people around you who interact with your story, even if it's only on the fringes. Remember that when you feel stuck, others may offer an insight, especially if they are more familiar with the subject matter than you are.
- When you feel lost, maybe it's time to really get lost. Take a walk, clear your mind, and you'll be surprised at the ideas that come to you.
- Being brave enough to reboot your project gives you a clean slate to start anew. It's important to not be so attached to your work (or the time you put into it) that you cannot let go of it, even if it's not working.