chantal stone photography: the blog

April 24, 2007

The Question of Why

Filed under: Photography,Process/Learning — chantal @ 12:05 am

(yeah I know, I changed my blog again)

I was chatting with my friend Sebastian today. We sometimes get into these conversations that offer more questions than answers, but they always seem to help me to understand my own process a little better. Sometimes I feel like the photographer I am meant to be already exists, it’s just a matter of me learning to understand her better. Instead of summarizing the whole thing, here are the juicy bits:

me: when i look through my own archives, i see this consistency that i cant explain….the problem is, its not really what i want my work to look like
sebastian: oh but do you get to choose what you are capable of?
on that deep level about what you have a tendency to produce?
how do you want it to look?
me: i just want bright and shiny….i like bright and shiny pictures
sounds dumb, i know
sebastian: no no no
me: but the images im attracted to are bright and shiny……the images i create are sort of dull
sebastian: not dumb […] like we all have this vision of what our stuff is supposed to look like
me: yeah
sebastian: like a little bit of so and so mixed with so and so
and it turns out to be chantal or whatever
me: exactly
sebastian: is that biased information that you pick up by looking at everyone else’s stuff?
or what?
not you in particular but US in general
I think its a bit of an idealized vision that we haven’t looked past yet
or are working to look past constantly
what is the need that we have to take pictures, WHY WHY WHY
what is it that is being fulfilled
by doing this
and what would happen if we shut off that outlet
or inlet?
I think thats at the root of our style
or soul of our photography
the more clear that picture the more clear what we can produce right?
or am I talking out of my guessing orifice??
me: lol no you’re like blowing my mind right now
all i know is that fail or succeed, i cant stop doing what i do….the need is like oxygen
and maybe i’m not supposed to make the exact pictures i want to make…..maybe the ART is in the effort
like Paul Butzi’s Art is a Verb thing
sebastian: yes I always loved that idea
what is that need??
why do you need it?
I’m really wanting to get more into it and you’ve just sparked this thing off in my head
me: hmmm i dont know….its just something in me that needs to come out
sebastian: do you want to show off what you find? is it the journey of looking for new things?
discovering new perspectives?
telling a story
expressing emotions and ideas
bonding with your equipment?
me: all of the above?
i see stories….i see emotions or intangible things that i want to try to capture
i see moments
sebastian: I feel the key to my progression is understanding this and honing it.
learn how to see it
like we see the little flaws in pictures that nobody else sees
me: yes i agree….i think about this stuff all the time
sebastian: me too
it just feels like I cant progress until I have an answer
at least a clearer picture
pardon the pun

I’ve found that questioning why I do what I do, helps me to do it better. Like the purpose isn’t of my own creation, it has always been there, and I’m just now discovering it.



  1. “what is the need that we have to take pictures, WHY WHY WHY”

    Why ask why? Is there a need to be so analytical as to need to have a reason to express yourself?

    Do it because you love it or because you want to. That’s why I do it. 🙂

    Comment by paul — April 26, 2007 @ 7:00 am | Reply

  2. Oh I’m definately not so analytical all the time. I do shoot because I want to and because I love it. But I also love to delve into what makes me tick. Understanding myself better helps me to understand others, helps me to be a more rounded individual and helps me set a path that I can see more clearly. So I try to apply this to my art as well. It cant hurt right?

    Comment by Sebastian — April 30, 2007 @ 11:32 am | Reply

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