Micael Widell

Searching for photography role models

/ photography

My latest obsession as of a few months is photography. I absolutely love going out once or twice a day with my camera in my hand, trying to take beautiful or interesting photos.

Lately I've started to ask myself what I'm really after. What is my "goal"? What would be the most amazing photo? So far my only answer to that question is that I'm not sure. I want to take amazing photos, but I'm not sure what that means to me. And that kind of annoys me. For now I'm just doing photography as a form of relaxation and enjoyment. Being out with my camera puts me into flow instantly, and I can easily spend hours photographing. I guess that could be enough of a goal for now. Maybe a clear theme or goal with my photos will emerge later.

But something I would like to find is good role models. Photographers whose work I admire and can find inspiration in. The problem for me is that although I've found a lot of good photographers, so far I've not found anyone who has gotten me thinking "wow these photos are amazing, I want to be able to take photos like that". And this bothers me. In every endeavour I spend time and energy in, I have some kind of innate need for role models. Someone to look up to. A gold standard.

So to find sources of inspiration, I've started thinking about what kind of photographs I admire. What makes a photo good? I have identified that photos I like usually are either beautiful or interesting.

A beautiful photo would be for example a breathtaking landscape in the golden rays just after sunrise. When I think of interesting photos, one of the first photographers that come to mind is Kohei Yoshiyuki, who used infrared film to photograph people having sex in parks in Tokyo, as well as others who were there to look at or even touch the people having sex. This is such a bizarre phenomenon, which makes the photos of it interesting and fascinating, despite being technically bad; often out of focus and too dark.

Photo by Kohei Yoshiyuki

Photos could also be funny and clever. The first person who comes to my mind in this category is Elliot Erwitt, who has taken some of the most clever photographs I've ever seen.

Photo by Elliot Erwitt

Photo by Elliot Erwitt

I guess I'll keep searching for role models within photography. I feel that the ones I've stumbled upon so far simply aren't "good enough". Or maybe the level of excitement or curiosity I strive towards feeling when watching a photograph is simply not possible to achieve?

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