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General Q&A

Lesson 8 from: Creative Expression in Photography

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

8. General Q&A

Lesson Info

General Q&A

I was hoping to talk to the students and ask them if they're fear of rejection has held them back from moving forward in their photography and if they have any stories or if they could talk a little bit about how what do you think about that? Anyone wanna volunteer about your fear go ahead todd yeah so I guess I'm a bit of a rhino I just keep on keeping on yeah I was like every else I got hurt when I first started because I thought everything I did was brilliant I had a lot of film history but when you get in the digital world things don't work the same things that you know there's not as much latitude as film has so I was shooting I was hurt a little bit but I'm like I don't know how to do any different I've been shooting for fifteen years or so at that point um I just wanted to start refining what I was doing and you know, my best friend I showed me a picture and he goes yeah it's photoshopped okay, so I know no matter what my best friend says he doesn't get what I'm doing so I don't...

keep dipping in that well I don't go back to that negativity I understand that he's got his own thing that he likes and that's not it but that doesn't define what I shoot my mom she was everything so I put her when I'm feeling down but um yeah I just keep on keeping on I guess it's just my personality style yeah you know what's an interesting story and I forgot to tell us I normally do is that when the eighties I started strobing outdoors eighteen nineteen, eighty four graduate so eighty five my buddy steve and I actually got a norman two hundred b put it in a soft box went out in the field and shot a portrait with it and that was kind of like cutting edge right and what happened was is because you can adjust the shutter speed strobe output lights the subject the shutter speed adjust the background value we could dark in the background so the person pops so I started doing a serious of portrait like that and what do you think the first comments I got oh, I could tell you stroke and I said well you like the image you ask pretty cool but I could tell you stroke that and so everybody would say oh, I can tell you stroke that and so then I kept doing it and eventually not that I was the only one doing it but eventually in the industry everybody was strobing outdoors knocking the background down it became accepted so after a few years nobody ever said oh, I could tell you stroke that we all accepted it right then I started composites first couple composites oh, I can tell you that's a composite really do you like it it's cool shop but I can tell us composite okay and I started doing these do these pretty soon now people are composited more guess what nobody ever says I can tell that's composited you might be able to tell maybe gotten better if he'll sell him a fake but the point is is is we start accepting certain things but first you gotta kind of fight for a little bit and so yeah I can see you know it's like people don't quite get it and they want to criticize oh, you stroked it or it's a composite but in the end is it fulfill your vision is an artist and does it work and hopefully in the marketplace too? So yeah, I think in the end it was like I liked what I was doing I need I knew I needed to get better at it that was a given but I liked where the direction I was going I had fun doing it. I was really enjoying, you know, my new digital, you know, gear and so I wasn't gonna let that stop me and I frankly no one had a better idea it wasn't like I don't like this because it was just like, oh yeah that's for sure and it's like well that's not very helpful to me you know so I'll move on good robin what about you you feel like you've really say that I've had some fears about sharing my work um I think that it they're too different areas so it would be like say there's work that I'm being super critical of I wouldn't want to share it even though it might be fair work I might be afraid to share it or if it's something that I especially love or like feelers my connection to then I might be afraid to share it because I would be worried that you know they might trash it and make you feel that yeah but I'm working on it that's a good thing take I mean it's a good thing but it's good to hear that because I think we all struggle to some degree with that meaning that okay so if I had find something really precious a new image I love if I stick it out there and it does get critiqued it hurts even more right the knife gets stabbed and turned and twisted and you know it's like a double whammy so we are afraid to do that um but here's what I would say again don't be afraid don't be afraid step forward in that and let the criticism come if you nobody's criticism criticizing you you're probably not on the right track talk about the fear of success so red sox nation said fear of rejection and fear of acceptance if they reject you, it stinks if they accept it it's omg what do I do now? They said yes and red sox nation says I've been in both a lot so what do you think about people who maybe they're less fearful of rejection and more field fearful of what if they actually like it? And I have to you know, I've had that I've experienced that have you ever you have any experience with that any relationship? So if I'm trying to think, if fear of success, I think that one thing I fear is that if if things were going too well, people will be kind of like jealous that I, you know, maybe done something you know, and they want to shoot you down, so to speak, but, you know, I mean, I guess that in the end to me what I call success is that I put a picture on my wall that's what I call success so maybe it's how you define success? I think people are different too I think some people are more fearful of success and some people are more fearful of rejection I think they're different personality types and people come out differently, so you're just not one of those people well it's true that again I made you know, maybe just a little bit different in one person maybe you know we're all kind of different approach I think we all suffer from a fear of rejection true that joel all right ready for another question yes. Fantastic. So from css what's your advice for getting inspiration for from others work I often worry about copying when I'm inspired by something what do you do if you really like someone's work but don't want to be like a copycat right okay um if we can't get inspired by someone else's work we're kind of like a dud right? Do you have no life in you so yes get inspired by other people's work I love it I love looking at work you know, like I like flipping through something old my goodness, I wish I took that I wish that was mine then I go okay I'm gonna work toward that I want something like that but here's the thing if you take and I've seen people do this to my work they'll take a swimmer they'll take a picture of mine will copy it to the hilt swing back around summer doing everything it's like it's like okay, that that's a little bit too much right um but it's okay to take it's edgy lights overhead light composites hd a background get a swimmer and do a picture just cause I did it doesn't mean you can't do it but try not to just do the exact same picture, right? The thing is, is in the end I can never copy somebody else it's impossible and you know what I've done? I've actually seen the picture and I bring it in a model brings it into whatever we were gonna go well that's really cool idea let's try to do something like that and then my end result is not even close, but I got inspired by that picture so that's the fund scenario so I'm influenced by people or others people's works or ideas of others it's just that be careful that it doesn't become an exact copy uh if like said if it looks like you can almost put the two side by side and people have sent me pictures of someone else's and put mine to say, look with someone's doing, they're copying you. It doesn't bother me necessarily it's just that I feel kind of bad for that person because they haven't gone out and really explored their own, but don't be afraid to be inspired by others. It's fun all right night interesting concept came up from shooter who went to brooks institute all good in the seventies and shooter says, I think the instructors manual stipulated find something wrong with every image and if the student complaints find mortar critique by the time I left critiques for something to learn from and nothing to be upset about even when the instructor was wrong l o l but I mean the more that you subject yourself to it the more that you do it the easier it gets as well well so there's no truth to that I think it's true that if you you get put in the fire pan you know the fire and you survive and then you're better off um here's what I would say that looking back in my college days a lot of times when someone would put their work up we were just kind of like we wanted to be engaged in the in the artic e process so we just found something to just shred you know, just to sort of be a critique er and I think we sometimes get into that mind set we're oh yeah oh yeah I got running around it's like why don't just look at it for what it is and say you know what? That's kind of a cool shot and yeah there's a few things in there maybe not perfect but but we get to critical sometimes um but what he thinks what he was saying is that by going through the fire you become a little tougher you know, down the road and so I would say with love in life as I've been doing this for so long I'm tougher today than I was twenty five years ago our twenty years ago because I've been through the fire so as a good thing yeah so I've never had like an art director you know you know go face to face with me but I feel like I've never really gotten a lot of good information from like a flicker critique but what I decided to do is to get a couple mentors that I appreciate their work in their knowledge and they're more than happy to bounce things off me when I have questions and I know that not everybody has that opportunity here in seattle we have a lot of really fantastic photographers teo to do that with but I find that to be really hopeful is because they come with some love there you know well and here's the thing though if someone comes up to you and ask for a little bit of critiquing advice try to say how can I encourage this person I think that would be the number one thing I would say how can I encourage this person and not destroy the person and like I said I think you could be encouraging and still be honest and say here's a few things so maybe it's a good rule of thumb how can I encourage that person during this critiquing process michaud jack's photography says hello from sweden good I have ah little question for mr grimes how do you know that you really are terrible as an artist and photography and you should quit too many critiques were like what if you really don't have any confidence? Well that's a bad place to be it isthe um well how do I answer that one? I would say that um look att vincent van gogh did he not like we don't know the whole true story I mean there's a guest different stories of how it you know but I don't think he was accepted during his lifetime right? I think we know that being true whether he committed suicide over I don't know cut his ear off whatever it is the whole story fact is is that a lot of artists do struggle with you know being beat up and not see success and then later their work becomes something amazing right uh and so I guess uh to that person is that maybe they just need to get and refined that craft a little bit more put more time into it and keep at it um and maybe instead of trying to be the joel grimes or somebody that's got all these lights and you know they build this great portrait maybe they just simplify it and just create a body of work that's not so you know complicated or something and they just build the bodywork that's what I say go out and do what you love keep doing it until in the craft will grow it will grow if you repeat it. Uh, you take a bat and ball and someone pitched to you. And if you do it a thousand ten thousand times, you get better. Hit the ball, that's, all, if that's the way it is.

Ratings and Reviews


I loved the course, i laugh because Joel and I are kind of alike in General. Hey Joel if you like Ray's music you might like A guy by the name Amos Lee, Different than Ray but great song writer.

Kelley Hurwitz Ahr

One of the things that I love about Joel is that he has a great message along with great photography! I find him to be relatable, an expert in the field and quite motivating. Highly recommend any of his classes.


That was excellent. Loved the seminar and you hit on a lot of great points when it comes to defining yourself as someone who uses photographic equipment as a tool to be creative.

Student Work