Staying True To Your Inner Artist

Yesterday I read an amazing article about obsessing over likes and popularity on social media, and how it can be insanely stressful. From personal experience, I have learned it can actually end up making you jaded or even take away whatever fuels your creativity.
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When I first started shooting I mainly focused on dark/horror concepts. I was still a beginner so my work was less than perfect, but it was at least original and creative. I got SO MUCH hate from the online world when I started posting my art, so I started moving in another direction. I still do dark concepts, but no where near as much as I used to, and with way less blood. I adore using blooood. I do LOVE the direction I have gone in with my implied nudes, but I want to get back into creating more creepy portrait pieces again.
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In this over-saturated industry, you see a lot of photographers that create similar work. Always aspiring to take pictures just like the last popular photographer. Cute babies with falling leaves, pretty half naked women rolling around seductively on a bed, bokeh bokeh and more bokeh. People actually seem to shun photographers these days that step outside of the box. People are always telling me that using blood in my photos is “cheap” and “not creative at all” – I center frame stuff sometimes, and every time I get multiple comments telling me to “look up the rule of thirds” – I know the rule of thirds, and center framing still applies to that rule. Not every picture should be framed to the right or left. Not every picture should be shot with your aperture wide open. I have been shooting for almost 6 years, and I succumbed to this bullshit. I let the photo bullies push me away from my goal of becoming a unique horror photographer. After reading the article I mentioned earlier, I realized that I need to get away from that.
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I have let the wrong people and the wrong advice influence me so much, I find it a lot harder to tap into my creative juices and think of weird, interesting concepts. Now I need to figure out how to get there again; I need to stop posting so much of my work online, and if I do only put it out to people who at least understand what I am doing and will give me positive critiques instead of making me feel bad about my artwork. On the other hand, I need to stop caring what other people think, and make the art that I have always wanted to make. Being an artist isn’t about trying to create pieces that impress other people, being an artist is about getting what you feel on the inside, out. It’s about letting your imagination run wild.
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A couple of photographers in a group I am following suggested getting into taking stills on horror movie sets – this has actually always been my dream, and one of the main reasons I started doing horror photography. Eventually I’d even like to be apart of the actual filming of the movie. The problem is I have no idea who to contact or how to get my foot in the door. So, if anyone happens to read this blog and has an idea of where I should start, please let me know in the comments!
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5 Responses To  “Staying True To Your Inner Artist”

  • Tara, my sister in law is a graphic designer for a fair number of horror genre DVDs, posters, books, etc (as well as some other large national clients).
    If you like, email me and I will give you her contact information and point her towards your sites.
    I can’t guarantee any results, of course, but I’m thinking there might be a fit here.

  • Lakshani

    HI Tara..
    I hope you can remember me.. I’ma big fan of your work and yes..everything you have said in here is completely true.
    You can not be an artist for some one else.. the art that makes you an artist is within you.
    I think you have found that true artist in you so keep it up. I love your work.. sure enough common people who look surface value and beauty in ordinary things might find your work is creepy and LOTS of blood..
    But I think there’s little creepiness hidden in each human being.
    You are trying to expose it in a beautiful way. I really do hope you will get a chance to work with horror movies and more with people who admire your work.
    Best of luck.

  • Hi Tara; excellent points you raise. I agree that the photo-mob ignores (at best) or attacks (at worst) creatively different stuff — been there.

    On horror films: I had an opportunity to shoot stills during a horror movie shoot, and it happened because my wife and I attended a local (Mississauga) indie horror movie festival. Louise struck up conversations with a number of the film makers with the aim of blogging about the experience. In post-fest conversations we were invited to this one shoot. Here are some of the shots I got … https://www.flickr.com/photos/bruce_m_walker/sets/72157631606597351/

    The indie film world is alive, creative, energetic, chaotic and very fun. Worth pursuing!

  • Inspired images! Stay true to yourself. I realized this exact thing last year and have pursued Fine Art Photography and my concepts without looking back. Looking forward to seeing more of your horror work.

  • Your photography is excellent. The shortest route to making films is to just start making films. Write a short, cast it and shoot it. Focus on camera movement and sound with the first one. When shooting a scene, shoot it long from a couple angles and shoot it in parts close up. If you pan right, shoot it again panning left. All those different angles help when you are editing. When it seems like time to cut the action, roll a bit longer. Occasionally you’ll get something really good from that. If you write a script, shoot that but shoot what isn’t on the paper too. You’ll learn all sorts of things that no-one can teach you while you edit what you’ve shot. When that first short is finished, make another and another. Then, you’ll be a film maker.

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