About Personal Work

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Personal work.  Photo by John Keatley.

This is a personal shoot I recently put together.  Many of the ideas and sketches I have been putting in my journal lately are set in outdoor locations at night.  I seem to go through cycles of being inspired by different things in my personal work.  For example, there was a time last year, when all of my ideas were studio shots.  After spending more time than usual in the studio, I began to find inspiration in other things.  I am a very curious photographer, and I enjoy changing the situations and people I work with so I am always experiencing something new.  Each time I explore my curiosity through personal work, I not only fulfill my curiosity, but I also grow as a photographer, and learn things that will stay with me.  There is something inside of me that is constantly pushing me to try something different, and create something new.

What I have begun to notice this summer through my personal work is that each phase that I go through, it is becoming less about a technical aspect, such as a specific light, or studio vs. outdoor, and more about my vision or the story I want to tell.  Each phase I have gone through has really been more about exploration and my own curiosity than the actual technical detail I was focused on.  Through these periods of different inspirations I have learned a lot, and  I hope I will always be learning something new about light, and photography, no matter how long I work at it.  But now I am able to focus more on my vision and less on the tools required to make it happen.  Not that the tools aren’t important.  They are!  But the more you practice, the more you will understand the tools, and the more they become ingrained in you so you don’t have to spend as much time and effort thinking about them.

This picture is the first in a series I am working on in my spare time.  I felt excitement when I made this image, and it was a good reminder for me of how much I love photography.  Thanks for taking a look.


I'm inspirated by the inspirated! ; ) Great work!

POSTED BY thehalfshow on 8-13-2009

Thanks for sharing, John. It seems so many photographers get wrapped up in making a technically perfect photograph that they forget about the message/feeling/etc they are trying to convey. I look forward to the rest of your series.

POSTED BY Greg on 8-13-2009

Thanks John! It feels so good when, after awhile, you feel so conditioned in your own unique style. Making images feels so freeing from that point on because you really do get to concentrate on the story! Good work!

POSTED BY Andrew on 8-13-2009

I agree John...my question at the end of a shooting day is, did the relationship happen between my inner most passionate being in relation to photography AND the subject; OR whether my light hits exactly were I needed to it be. I end up loosing the true expressions of my subjects when I'm frustrated that my pocket wizards are firing. I remember the passion I had with JUST my camera and an eye, a heart and a curious nature.

POSTED BY Photorina Studios on 8-13-2009

Thats a great shot. Really like the tonality and color. Do you mind sharing the lighting used here and how you achieve that soft yet sharp look? Thanks!

POSTED BY 7880 on 8-16-2009

Thank You John for sharing. I really like Your work and You're one of my inspirations. You reminded me that strobe light shouldn't be the main part of the photo, it should be just an addition to it. Regards Paul

POSTED BY Paul on 8-27-2009

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