Photographer John Free‘s many years of experience as a professional in the industry have given him a deep reservoir of tips, tricks and advice from which to pull. In the past, we shared his inspirational no-BS video on shooting without tension and the importance of practice.
That video offered some all-around “how to get better” advice. But yesterday, he uploaded a new video in which he addresses a specific problem many photographers (himself included) face: getting too emotionally attached to your images.
As Free sees it, the problem with becoming emotionally attached to your images is that you lose the ability to look at them and print them logically — you’ll defend them because you’re “trying to like [them] so much.”
His solution is to try to look at the photo through the eyes of the average viewer who is going to look at it. “It’s always the same,” says Free. “We want a photograph that has the inherent power to emotionally affect or move the viewer in some way for having seen it.”
So what Free does is forget about the photo as soon as he’s taken it. He lets it sit, sometimes waiting a long time before developing it, so when he finally sees it again in the darkroom, he’s seeing it with fresh eyes.
You can hear a lot more from Free about this problem and his suggested solution by watching the embedded video at the top. And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out his other video we shared a few weeks ago for some more great advice and inspiration.