That is what I have been told by my photo buddy. I shoot emotionnal. I was so pleased that she told me this about my photography, as it is so meaningful to me.
But in a sense what is shooting emotional ? For me, I just shoot because it is essential, vital to me, as I already explained in my previous post (Why I take pictures?) I am not sure that I am particulary shooting emotional, I just shoot, period. Maybe this comes from my aesthetic choice, I shoot in high contrast, black and white so everything tend to be more obvious, more present, there are no place for colors details, everything just tend to be raw, like my feelings. Yes in a sense I am shooting what is in my brain, certainly a chaos, but also a large variety or palette of moods and feelings.
Shooting emotional maybe not appreciated by others as this is a very personnal way of seeing a picture, a scenary, somebody, but most of all, a different way of capturing light. Most of people are shooting in the opposite side of the sunlight, me, on the contrary I want to shoot face to the sun, I want to have the vibrations, the shadows, the forms,… This way of shooting will give a taste to the picture that I shoot. OK, I am not always doing like this, sometimes there is not really a sunlight or if I shoot a portrait I want to see the expression that I freeze at a certain point in time.
That’s maybe another reason why I shoot people’s face very closely. By default I shoot with a 28mm lens, one will agree this is not the most convenient size for shooting portrait but not for me. I like being in the face of the people, they may feel offended in a way as I am getting into, what you could call their comfort zone, but this works most of the time, I am just being told , « chikai », « it is close » in japanese. Yes you can imagine that Japanese people would get offended, disrupted in their intimacy but not at all, I can get very close and get the picture that I want. Maybe I shoot this way also to get as close to their inner feelings, that’s what I tend to believe, but maybe I am wrong, I could stay a little bit more far away to catch the scenery, the environment, the background of this one shot story. This may evolve with time.
Another side of the « emotional » shooting is the mood given by the composition itself, I tend to shoot, I think, simple things, no complex layers, just the essential maybe that’s coming from the fact also that I am shooting for only three years now, I think that I am just a beginner, a learner in the world of photography ; so yes I am shooting simple. But being simple does not mean easy, try to give emotions with just few things is difficult. How to give emotions by just photographing a tree, or just few shadows ? That can be very tricky, just like in my mind.
Shooting emotional is not a style but a state of mind. A state where I can give forms to my doubts to my feelings and thoughts. As already mentionned I suffer from depression so maybe this state of mind is heavily influencing the way I shoot, I don’t talk much, I don’t exchange much so the only way for me to communicate with the outside world is to do it with photography, together with my dear photo buddy. Oh yes, my photo buddy, this is also maybe another reason why I shoot emotional, maybe to impress her also as she is much more experienced and skilled that I am, so I try to compensate my lack of technic by something else, I try to use my weaknesses to be my strenghts, for instance having a blurred photo is often seen as a failure but for me this tends to look alive, beautiful, full of energy, all I miss I think in my life, in my world of depression. So yes in that sense, I shoot emotional.