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Friday, 1 November 2013

Follow your Bad Instincts: Dos and Don'ts of Tony Fouhse

all pictures from Live Through This by Tony Fouhse

One for the weekend - the Dos and Don'ts of Tony Fouhse, who approaches the question
from a perspective of authenticity. Yes!

Check out Tony's interview with his subject Stephanie  and you'll see where he's coming from in practice.
It's not that easy an approach and the answers aren't that clear cut.

Tony Fouhse's website
Tony Fouhse's blog, Drool
Buy Tony Fouhse's book, Live Through This at Straylight Press

I read with great interest the previous do's and don'ts posted here. And I have 
to wonder what else can be said, after all, there has been such good advise.

Interesting, too, how certain themes keep arising, all filtered through personal 
perspective and experience. Kind of reminds me of photography . . . an infinite 
number of ways to approach the thing, endless ways solve the "problem", but 
some solutions are more correct than others.

When Mr. P asked me to contribute to this series I sat down at my machine and
tried an approach or three but deleted them all. They were either too obvious, too
sincere or were just a rephrasing of what has already been said. 

So I won't talk here about the ways and means to promote yourself, how to position
your work to get (if you are lucky and talented) a swell client base. Rather I will take 
a contrary approach, reduce the problem of how to be a photographer to its basest level.

Be yourself. Follow both your good and your bad instincts. 

In my experience most people's good instincts are remarkably similar, while their bad 
instincts are often particular. By embracing your good and bad ideas and impulses, by 
figuring out how to incorporate them into your life and your work, you somehow become 
more yourself. Plus, you'll probably end up in unfamiliar territory, a place that will engage 
you in ways you can't imagine, make you feel more alive. 

True, your bad instincts (depending upon what they actually are and how they are
manifested in your working methods and the outcome of those methods) might cost
you in the commercial realm. But on the other hand, they might well do the opposite.

If you embrace your contradictions and work hard at being yourself, you will end up 
in a surprising place, one more authentic than if you just do what you are think you 
are supposed to do. And in these days of ubiquitous photography what we need, more 
than anything, is authenticity. People recognize it.


Stan B. said...

Refreshing advice; and that last paragraph is worth a year or more than any photo school.

GreeceInDireStraits said...

I agree with Tony, but I would like to ask him if people with no time, no money and no photographic education can recognize authenticity as such and not simply dismiss it as weirdness. But I agree because what matters most is being in perpetual motion and true to your self. And I also understand what he means by bad instincts!