A photographer’s eye is beholden to beauty. It’s no surprise that they see the world in a different way than any other person. Do they just happen to be walking past something, or someone, and see something different, though?
Not quite. Some photographers will tell you that they don’t see anything differently, they just have a “good eye”. Over the years I’ve come to understand that the “good eye” of a photographer is actually a mindset. It’s a mindset influenced by such a different perception than someone who isn’t constantly obsessed by making an image a picture perfect moment. It’s almost something that needs to be studied. Of course anyone can learn to build this mindset, but to the outsider it’s a foreign concept.
What builds a photographer’s perception is visual, of course. What they see is what you get, but they see something much different than the average Joe or Jane. What they see are ideas, objects and people that can be turned into concepts and ideas before the eyes of the person who wants to see it. To the untrained eye, a picture is a picture, but to a photographer, a picture is the image of an idea. In this way, the eyes of a photographer are built by a perception of what can be, not what is.
This affects what they understand to be beauty. It shapes and molds their perception of what they will take a picture of when they see beauty. Beauty to a photographer is in potential. From raw concept to edited perception, not a beat is missed. Everything is perfect to the person who sees life in the eyes of a photographer, unbeknownst to them that the perception they don’t take the time to understand takes into account many things. From lighting to angles and everything in between, beauty isn’t exactly simple. That’s why photographers are almost the content creators of beauty.
Photographers are the paperboys of times past in a world that relied on the paper to deliver news. They take fashion concepts and make these potentially tangible ideas a reality to distribute to the masses. Although many others who built articles and compiled pictures created the paper, it was the paperboy who shouted at passersby the headlines of the day. In the same way, the fashion design may not have been created or curated by the photographer, but it’s the photographer who shows the world what fashion is. It’s the photographer that delivers the concept to the masses, giving them what they want to see by popular demand.
Beauty is a hard thing to depict. That’s why photographers are hired. It’s their biased eye that perceives what everyone claws over. It’s what everyone who hires a photographer wants to see in the pictures of themselves.