Neil Garmain’s 8 Rules of Writing were published in The Guardian in the winter of 2010 and they have a lot of analogy potential for photography.
Here some proposals for photography translations:
1 – Write (Gaiman)
2 – Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down. (Gaiman)
Keep shooting away. Connect with the moment, follow the light and shoot away.
3 – Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it. (Gaiman)
The moment you think this would be a great shot, it will be a great shot, take the shot and don’t think I can shoot it later, it won’t come back.
4 – Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is. (Gaiman)
When you feel tension while photographing or in post-production and you start moving restlessly on the spot, put your camera down or leave the computer for a while. Have a coffee and look at something different. Then come back and carry on. Your view will be fresh again.
5 – Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. (Gaiman)
When you show your images to people expect that each of them will see something different and they are right, because each person has its own personality and point of view. Nonetheless their feedback always gives you insights and learning opportunities.
6 – Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving. (Gaiman)
There is nothing like a perfect photo. And there is nothing like a photo everybody likes. Keep learning and growing in photography and your images will show an amazing process of working with light and composition.
7 – Laugh at your own jokes. (Gaiman)
Relax and don’t be to hard on yourself.
8 – The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter. (Gaiman)
Be genuine in your photography and photograph the way YOU photograph, however this is. Let your signature in photography evolve and embark on your own process of growth in this fantastic art.
(P.S. feel free to come with your own translation!)
Ute Sonnenberg for www.rohoyachui.com