Whatever ideas you have in advance about the subject you want to photograph are just that - ideas. They are not the work itself, but rather the things that lead you to the work. They give you a reason to show up. Usually once you start working, other things happen, you see something else, or you might even find something quite different from what you set out to find. 

If you allow your preconceived ideas to be a ball and chain around your ankle, so to speak, the results can often be nothing more than a lifeless illustration of an idea. The ability to improvise and respond in the face of the unexpected is what will make your work interesting, what will make it more resonant and meaningful for you, and probably for the viewer as well.

— Dawoud Bey, from The Photographer’s Playbook

November 20, 2018 · quotes · Dawoud Bey · photography


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