How to make interesting photographs
My tip today is to photograph what you find interesting, in order to make interesting photographs.
Some of my tips in this series have bordered on stating the obvious, I know, but sometimes there is wisdom in a truism. This tip is no different. There is so much to occupy us in photography, from equipment to light, to compositions and processing, that it is easy to forget that we will love a photograph to the degree in which we love the subject. Sally Mann has said something to the effect that you should photograph what you love in order to make great art.
So in my customary manner I ask you a question: do you love - find interesting - what’s in your photos? Have another looks at your images. Maybe this applies to some and not others. Are you even photographing what you love at all? (When we become enamoured with gear we often forget the simple practicalities of using it. We might, for example, pursue equipment to make landscapes, because we dream of making landscapes; but in actual fact have neither the time nor opportunity to make such work).
I cannot tell you what you love. It might be cars, buildings, people, places, little details in everyday life (or, following from the modernists, the medium itself). Herein lies the subjectivity in this, and the very good reason we make work with an audience in mind. Photography is powerfully and fundamentally tied to the thing in the image.
Take the time to ask whether you still love the thing in front of your lens, and you will go a long way to retaining the spark of your own interest in what you do.