chantal stone photography: the blog

January 6, 2007

Blog Evolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — chantal @ 4:29 pm

From 12/2/06…

I’ve been into photography since I was 15 years old, and have been shooting seriously on and off since then. A few years ago I got really serious, had a few shows, did some paid photo jobs..but then Life took over again, I got pregnant, had my 3rd kid, so my priorities shifted. The two years ago I picked up my camera for the last time…never to set it down again. Two years ago I decided this was going to be it…no looking back. I enrolled in a few photography classes, more as a means to get me in the habit of shooting again, and also to meet other photographers and to have that interaction. And I began to shoot incessantly.

At the beginning of 2006, I wanted to start a few different projects…something to keep me shooting, like a daily motivation, but they quickly fizzled out. One was where I would take at least one photo a day…just an excuse to keep the camera ready, but then I found that at 11pm I’d be taking pictures of my couch or dishes in the sink just to have that photo for the day.

The next project was where I would take a photo of everyone who came to my house, I’d have them sign their name in a book, I’d add their photo, and at the end of the year, there’s this photo-log of visitors. Nice idea, but the only person who comes over a lot is my mother, we really don’t get a lot of visitors. And the people who did stop by, often would act all weird about me taking their picture….it quickly became a hassle. /End project.

The I stumbled across photoblogging. (Not actually a stumble, I found the photoblog of an AMAZING photographer who has since become my idol—more on that later). I knew this would be great for me. I had started a writing blog earlier in the year, and I knew I wanted to incorporate my photography into it (just needed a scanner–film shooter, here). So I started my photoblog, which at first I had no idea about the photoblog community, I had no idea about the daily visits and all the great feedback you can get. So I didn’t post regularly. But after a month or so, when I was shooting more regularly, I began posting images more often, I then would visit other blogs, and viola! —a community is born.

And what an amazing thing! To shoot one day, post it the next, and then receive feedback—both good and bad—has revolutionized my photography. Before I would shoot something, then I would see it, maybe my husband, then that was it. The good stuff would go unnoticed, and I often wouldn’t learn from the bad stuff (there’s always a LOT of bad stuff). But suddenly with an audience, and that audience being 90% other photographers who’s work I respect and admire, I get the encouragement and feedback I need to become the photographer I know someday I can be.

The trap is when you begin to shoot for the blog. I try not to do that, but I do shoot way more often so that I have fresh material for my photoblog. And anyone who shoots frequently is going to improve. When I look back through my own archive I see the evolution of my work, I can see the good, the bad, the embarrassing, and the improvement.

I feel I’ve matured as an artist, a photographer, and even a writer. I have a better sense of ‘self’–artistically speaking. And that part I find interesting. In an interview, Alec Soth mentions the transparency of posting work in progress onto a photoblog. Transparency, meaning, there’s something very revealing about letting it all show, mistakes, good, bad and all. And I feel I am very transparent, I don’t think I really hold anything back. I show the good, the bad the ugly, and the very personal. And for me, that’s a good thing. Perhaps that’s my personal style, something that I’ve struggled to find for so long.

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