What is my style: Photo Journalism Or Photo Digitalism?
Before I became a portrait photographer, a senior photographer friend of mine shared with me her time split as a photographer: 5% taking pictures, 35% post-processing, and 60% sales and marketing. I was like - huh? Shouldn't we photographers enjoy most of our time behind the camera? And yes, that was my life when photography was a hobby.
In my two year world tours exploring fine art, I discovered two opposite extremes for fine art photography: photo journalism, and photo digitalism. The former sticks to the fact and realism of the subject - whatever the photographer sees is whatever you see; the latter however emphasizes manipulation, no matter in lighting, color or content. Anything could be created as if it were taken by a camera.
For a long time, I asked myself - which school do I belong to? Photo journalism or photo digitalism? I believe the answer is both - I have invested heavily on both photo hardware and software, as well as skills to perfect the pictures. In fact, it is quite enlightening that I finally came to realize: it is not the photos I created, but the photo journey itself, that is a valuable part of my life, and hopefully that of my clients. From the very beginning, I was looking for something unique to my clients - does it come from a product, a skill, or an experience? Or a combination of all? And it did not take me long to find that the products and skills could be learned, but the experience could not be duplicated. The magic of being a portrait photographer to me is to document this experience ("journalism") and reproduce this experience (digitalism). I have to admit that a big source of my happiness comes from this all in one process! :-)