I make photographs and I also write. Every time I’m through composing words to go with the images I share, I ask myself, what should be more compelling? Is it the photographs that I’ve made or the words that I’ve stringed together? I imagine for writers out there, all they think about is to finish what they are writing then, maybe, find a photo that depicts their words. For most writers paring their words with images is not even necessary. Imagine reading a novel with images, weird right? Photographers on their end feel like they don’t even need to write anything. They say all that needs to be said in their photographs.
For a photographer who at the very least tries to write, there is an entire dimension to it. At least for me. It is not just about finding words to go with your images but you find yourself wondering what you want more or expect. Do you want to compel your viewers come readers with the images you make or the words that you write? I mean it is easier to just write and be judged on your words or make photographs and get measured on your images. Then what happens when your cuppa chai is photographing and writing?
Often a person will tell you what a great photograph it is that you have shared and not say a thing about the writing. Or they tell you what a nice piece of article you’ve written and not say a word about your photographs. Either way, you have good feedback, many at times humble but when a person mentions one without the other, you can’t help but wish they express admiration for both. Maybe that is selfish. And why not considering the effort and thought that goes into both? I must admit yo-yoing of comments between the two makes one wonder whether they are better at one over the other.
At the end of the day, photography and writing share more similarities than differences. Top of the list has to be, eliciting emotions and move whoever it is that is looking at the photographs or reading the words. Herein lies the glue that holds things in place.
As creators, many of us find ourselves juggling between different crafts while merging them as one for synergy. Those that do this, do so to stand out from the crowd. Synergy loosely put, is two or more parts put together whose effect is bigger than the sum total of the parts. Partaking in different crafts need not be mutually exclusive but rather, symbiotic. Balancing two or more separate disciplines can definitely be road to greater authenticity. We should in fact emphasize it.
There is possibly no place photographers can go that has not been photographed. The same thing applies to writers, no story under the sun remains untold. Today, what we may regard as new, are variations of what have existed for centuries. To combine various skills of craft to bring out an angle the world has not seen or thought of before, is possibly one of the most logical ways to earn recognition in this art saturated world.