A voice is an outward expression of what’s inside. A result of everything we have ever been exposed to, the things our parents taught us, our education, our values, morals, likes, dislikes, and opinions. What we put in is a reflection of what comes out. This is so true of photography, and emphasizes the importance of enriching our intake. We need to feed ourselves well in order to produce the best work we can, and to develop our own distinctive voice.
Photography is a visual form of communication. It has it’s own language that needs to be learnt. We can all remember a time when we fumbled through the early stages of learning a foreign language, mispronouncing words, structuring sentences in all the wrong order, looking at words and having no idea what they are. Well it’s the same in photography, it’s important that we learn to speak clearly and with confidence in order for our viewers to be able to make sense of what we’re saying.
We live in an era of social media dominance, it’s where we do the most talking, either verbally or visually. Our comments often say more about us as individuals than the topic we are commenting on, and every time we post a photograph we’re either adding, or subtracting, value from the overall impression the viewers have built up over time about us. Through using such platforms as Facebook, or Instagram you’ll no doubt find similarities in verbal/visual language character traits, there’s those that talk too much, talk nonsense, are difficult to understand, or even boring vs those that speak clearly, with confidence, hold your interest, and make you want to listen more. We all pretty much sit in one of these camps.
A voice needs to be somewhat consistent, I use the word somewhat simply because it expresses a freedom of change. We alter our opinions and values throughout life as we’re exposed to what is true. But as we know, truth can be a subjective endeavour. The best analogy that talks to the importance of consistency is how we would feel if we were to start reading a book written by our favourite author, only to find that some pages are written in a foreign language, some are upside down, some are all in capitals, some are blank, and some the words are all muddled up. It’s this lack of consistency that will undoubtedly result in our putting the book down and reading something else. Text that we can rely on to give us what we what, or that we have become accustomed to expect and enjoy.
The purpose of this post isn’t to give you specific instruction on how to develop your voice, that’s something we would need to look at on an individual basis, but to simply make you aware of the fact that we all have one, and are constantly using it. What does it say about you I wonder ?