As I said, I’ve been really enjoying the video series of photographer extraordinaire Alec Soth.

Did you watch the video I linked for you guys yesterday? If not check out this post and give that video a watch. While you’re there I’d recommend subscribing to his YouTube channel and watching through all of his talks.

Anyways, before this starts sounding like an ad or pitch for Mr. Soth, let me get to my point.

For a long time on the blog here I’ve always tried to share those photos in which I had a really grand and meaningful story behind. I’ve neglected posting so many others just because the photos themselves felt “not BIG enough”.

The more I think about things as I’ve watched Alec Soth’s videos and as I’ve been chatting with my brothers in light over in the Unusual Collective, I’m realizing something that I guess on some level I already knew.

Not every photo is a blockbuster.

Some, in fact many actually, are mere short films or novella’s of the everyday as I see it and experience it.

There is no grand story behind it, no deep meaning.

They are a visual documenting of place and time, of meaning to me, and that’s really all they need to be.

Sure the huge blockbusters are great, they get a lot of attention for a bit… those dopamine hits are real.

But we can’t live off of sugar alone, we… well I, as a creative and as a photographer, need those essential food building blocks. I need the meat and potatoes.

Take for example this set of photos.

I’ve been looking through the multitudes of galleries of photographs that I’ve made and never really done much with. Photos I enjoy greatly, even though there is really no grand story behind them.

Both of these photos, on their own, give me a feeling of calm and of peace.

The fog rolling over a small local lake in the fall.. when I look at this photo it transports me right there to that shoreline, the crisp smell of the cool, northern Minnesota air fills my nose.

The lone chair and lamp, a relaxing place to sit back and put up your feet. Funny enough I made this photo in a hotel room in which I had just finished watching an extremely tense football game some years back as the Minnesota Vikings knocked the New Orleans Saints out of the playoffs with the “Minneapolis Miracle” at the buzzer. I remember watching that game while my wife attended a training seminar for her work, so I was alone in the hotel room waiting for her to be done.

I had to be so quiet because I didn’t want to be yelling at the game in a hotel room and get security called to “calm me down”. But when that play happened and the Vikings secured victory at the buzzer, the entire hotel erupted in cheers. It appeared I wasn’t the only one watching the game. As I fist pumped and cheered by myself in the room I turned and something about this little scene grabbed me and invited me to have a seat and relax.

Hotel rooms and lakeside views… Not a grand story, but a pair of photographs I very much enjoy and as such, very much should share with the world.


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2 thoughts on “They’re not all blockbusters

  1. Gary Quinn says:

    I get what you mean about photos “not feeling big enough” but it’s a kind of Photography don’t care for anymore. Sure, we can see stunning landscape images or beautiful portraits that stand in their own but they are also quickly forgotten.

    What I tend to remember are collections: not the images themselves but the feeling I get from a good photo book.

    I’m thinking of something like SLEEPING BY THE MISSISSIPPI or Trent Parkes MINUTES TO Midnight. If you take individual images from there, they are not all blockbusters but as a whole, they are wonderful.

    Keep shooting the “little images”. If you shoot what interests you we’ll get the bigger story: the story of Dave

    1. Gary, once again my friend you are spot on with your words of wisdom.

      It’s something I’m trying REAL hard to re-train my brain on right now. I know I’ve talked about this kind of thing in the past a bit also, and it’s this constant struggle I find myself relapsing into.

      Always appreciate the reminder.

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