Image for post
Image for post

Everybody is a photographer — Part 2

How to be original: the don’ts

Martino Pietropoli
Apr 4, 2018 · 7 min read

Your point of view

Photography means basically to have a point of view. Technically the camera is the tool to express it. Just like that. This is easy to agree on and to understand. Nonetheless you should at least have it, let’s forget the tech stuff for a while. Equipment, skills and so on are important but not so much: I see tons of “beautiful” images taken by extremely skillful photographers that are utterly boring. The thing with many beautiful photos is that they’re quite different from good photos (as I explain here) and often don’t express a personal point of view. That’s why we can see millions of very good images on Instagram that look almost like the same thing, over and over.

If to photograph means to express a point of view, having the same one as millions of other photographers means to not have none.

There are billions of photos out there. Facebook alone manages more than 657 billions uploads a year. Can you imagine so many pictures? I can’t but they have to be whola lotta images. This might be discouraging because the chances that someone else had already taken the same image as you is highly probable. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

One good thing about photography is that if you put a glass of water on a table and ten photographers around it, you’ll come up with ten different photos. Ten points of views, exactly.

Why so many pictures are similar? Because there’s plenty of them and not everyone is a photographer, at least not that kind with a point of view. That’s why so many people follow trends: because it’s like following a known path. You will never get lost, but you can’t find new meanings and new visual landscapes as well.

It’s important to know the trends.
In order to avoid them.

I always push people to know the trends. It’s important to know what works in the visual world because it gives back the temperature, the climate. This is the kind of photo everybody likes and that is what nobody cares about. Thus, when it’s understood, it’s easier to avoid those directions where everybody’s headed. Remember?

Photography is a point of view, not everybody else’s point of view.

Trends

Those are the most common photographic trends (mostly on Instagram): some date back years ago, some are quite old but still strong today, some are pretty new.

1. Levitating people

Image for post
Image for post
From PetaPixel

2. Centered subject

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
“Person stands on a rocky trail in a grassy pasture near the mountains” by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash and Caspar David Friedrich, “Wanderer above the sea of fog

3. Laydown

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

4. Holding hand

Image for post
Image for post
“A person’s hand holding up a small yellow flower” by Kawin Harasai on Unsplash

5. Follow me

6. Cliffhangers

7. Drone photography

8. Selfie

9. Tent

Image for post
Image for post
“Light in a green tent surrounded by silhouettes of trees on a starry night” by Sayan Nath on Unsplash

10. Orange and teal

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Zach Reiner on Unsplash