I think there’s a difference between photography and creative photography. But it’s only related to the perspective you take when you’re shooting. Sometimes I’m mostly documenting something in the real world that I want to look at again and show others. I’m framing and adjusting exposure, but I’m ultimately just recording a nice scene. In this instance, I’m functioning as a photographer.Other times I’m editing out what I don’t care to see and taking a much more active role in what the viewer sees and focusing more on what I deem most interesting in the scene. Sometimes I’ll physically remove items from the scene that distract from the composition or even add elements to enhance it. Often that includes manipulating the light that didn’t occur in the scene naturally. In this capacity, I’m functioning more as a “Creative Photographer”.
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Interview with Skip Hunt
EWW: You have several galleries such Still Life, Tulips, floral, landscape, etc. Do you have a favorite? If yes, why?
Skip: No, I don’t think I have an overall favorite. My interests change often. However, the images I make that are of an otherwise hidden composition of texture and shape, that most would walk by… or, a serene scene where nothing is happening at all, and that there’s nothing of interest there, but there’s somehow something in the whole of the scene that captures my imagination… these are my absolute favorites.
EWW: You have a black & White gallery. When do you choose an image to become black & white versus color?
Skip: I love black and white, but rarely make images in black and white for some reason. I’m not sure why that is. I think it’s because a long time ago I got it into my head that because a color image can either be printed in black and white (from before there was digital) or easily converted now that there’s digital… that I might as well always shoot color and have the choice.
Yet I don’t think this is entirely true. I have to be in an entirely different frame of mind to shoot black and white. In many ways, it’s more challenging than color work. At least for me. Sometimes I’ll set a camera for black and white and force myself to shoot only black and white as a creative exercise.
I should start doing that more often, I think. Going to make a note of that. Thanks for reminding me!
EWW: What challenges do you face when doing your art?
Skip: I think my biggest challenge is getting the inspiration to do it. I don’t have much control over the “muse” at all. Sometimes I don’t feel like making art for weeks or even months. Then, all of a sudden, the desire is back. When that happens, I try to ride it as long as possible until the well is dry again.
I wish I had better methods to get myself inspired enough to make art more regularly because it feels like when I’m making art… all is well in my world. Without the creative process, the world feels dry and barren.
One trick I’ve tried it simply doing something completely different for a while. Instead of still photography, I’ll switch to digital painting. Or, maybe video art and audio soundscapes. When I return back to photography, it feels fresh again.
Ultimately, I think it really is as simple as the phrase “Just do it”, instead of waiting around for an elusive muse to wander back by again. I think if you just set out with a vague intention to make something creative and go through the motions, often the inspiration comes by virtue of the act.
I’ve found this works with writing. Just sit down and start writing whatever comes to you mind, even if it’s just a grocery list or recounting what has happened earlier in the day. Before you know it, the creative ideas start to form and you’re off to the races again.
That doesn’t always work though. Sometimes you’re just going through the motions and nothing happens at all. I think my next goal will be to work on better exercises that I can do that will improve my success rate.
EWW: Excluding subject matter, are there themes that consistently run in all your work such as colors, perspective, lighting, movement, style, etc.?
Skip: Most of the time I tend to focus on rich saturated color with bold contrast and dramatic lighting. The style tends to be similar to placing elements in graphic design. This is more a result of habit I think, i.e. it worked out well at one point and I just kept refining the same approach. It was probably the result of seeing some other photographer’s work when I was younger and emulating it. Over the years I made my own changes and perspectives on it until at some point it turned into my own style.
That said, when I see myself doing the same style over and over again, I make a conscious effort to change it up and do something that looks completely different. This is tricky though because once you become somewhat known for a certain sort of look or style, that’s all anyone wants to see from you. If you do something completely different it throws them off from their expectations of you… and people generally don’t like change.
EWW: Do you think it is important for photographic artists to have their own website, in addition to another gallery they appear on? If so, why?
Skip: I don’t know how important it is. I actually have several websites. They aren’t all regularly maintained, but they all reflect different moods and personal perspectives.
Originally, I thought I’d dedicate each site to a different look and style that I liked to do, and then keep only those sorts of images and art there. However, that never came to be because I like shifting around too much to keep it all that organized.
It’s also a good idea to have more than one site in case some platforms go away. Reckon it’s best to not keep all your eggs in one basket. So, to speak.
In addition to that, the more locations your work resides online, the more potential links to other sites, and better chances of showing up closer to the top in search engine results.
EWW: What are your thoughts about using social media platforms to market and promote your art? If you do use social media, which one(s) do you find to be the most effective for you?
Skip: I like Instagram a lot because it’s all about the images and you get more instant feedback. Though, it doesn’t seem to translate to any more website or gallery traffic.
Facebook is ok, but if you’re selling anything… it tends to turn users off and they end up muting you for the most part.
Twitter is decent to drive traffic I’ve found, but again… if you go too far with the sales stuff, you’ll just get yourself unfollowed.
I haven’t worked it out quite yet, but I have a hunch that Pinterest is the quiet gem that could be the most beneficial of all.
EWW: Just to wrap up this interview, do you have any final thoughts about you and your work that you think would be important for others to know about?
Skip: The only thing that’s important to me is acting on the desire to create art. It’s like breathing or sleeping. It’s something built into my DNA that I have to do on a regular basis. When I’m not making art, I start remembering that I, along with everyone else, is only here for a short while and that each moment should be spent wholly experiencing precious life. Making art stops time for a little while and helps you be completely present in the now. That’s all I’m ever really after.
Blog URL: skiphuntphoto.com