Last night I watched Prince on the Arsenio Hall show. Prince told a story about watching a musical performance on tv with Esperanza Spalding. At one point she asked him, “Are you rearranging the music in your head right now?” When he answered in the affirmative she replied, “Yeah, me, too.” It isn’t that they don’t like what other artists are doing. It’s that both of those artists have found their voices, so when they listen to others’ music, they find themselves listening through the filter of their own way of hearing and performing music.
At that moment I realized I do the same thing with photography.
I’ve written in the past about wanting/needing to find my own style. Sometimes I see it, though many times I default to thinking I don’t really have a photographic style, yet. But when I heard Prince describe how he rearranges other people’s music in his head I remembered all of the times I look at other people’s photography and edit it in my mind. I may crop it differently, bump the exposure up or down, tweak the white balance, or even change the depth of field. I guess that is what happens when I am not mindlessly muddling my way through photography but have my own, perfectly valid way of seeing the world…my own photographic voice.
I’m walking a little taller, today.
Hang in there, my fellow warm-weather lovers. Spring is just around the corner!