Recently, I have read on someone’s Instagram post that they don’t like the “cheap route of posting daily the same iPhone photos of the shark suit minifigs or minimalist shots of Stormtroopers.” They prefer to “focus attention on creating well-crafted models and shooting artistically – styled vignettes.” Basically they were calling for quality over quantity.
I thought about my first Lego photos. How it all started. The overall quality of the photos and the captions.
And I realized that’s exactly how I started. With a “cheap route of posting daily”. While I was posting daily I did try to shoot a different mini figure each time.
People say quality is more important than quantity. It’s true – up to a certain point.
“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.” – Steve Jobs
My dad used to tell me a story. Once upon a time, there was a man who wanted a painting of a rooster. He searched high and low, asked around who would do it in the best way. Finally, he was told that there was this old man, he was the best painter in the country. He went to him, and told him what he wanted. The old man nodded, and told him to come back in a month. He went back there after a month. The old man didn’t recognize him at first, asked him what he wanted. When he said he wanted a rooster painting, the old man said “Oh, right”. He took a piece of paper, his inkwell, and painted the perfect painting of a rooster. The man was in shock. He said “If you were able to do this in five seconds, why did you make me wait a month?” The old man got up, told the man to follow him, and they went into a room. In the room, there were thousands of rooster paintings, all scattered over the floor. The old man said: “A month plus five seconds.”
This story stuck with me. I think the same is true about everything, most of all photography. I’m not a professional photographer, but when I look at my first photographs and compare them with my recent ones, I see clearly how much I have improved. True, some of them are not at all artistic, or even of good quality.
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
But when I think about it, not all of them have to be. The important thing is that I enjoy taking them. That’s one of the main reasons for everything that I do. I do it because it makes me happy. You don’t like it? That’s fine. You don’t have to. But that simple shot made me happy today, maybe because of the mini figure I used, maybe because of the accessory, or maybe because it reminded me of a happy memory.
The thing is, there’s the same chance of someone not liking my photograph if I use a fancy camera or a phone, if I create a quick snapshot or if I create something artistic. I can’t control their reaction. What matters to me is taking the shot, thinking about the story, the characters, the background… and trying, just trying to recreate what I have visualized in my mind.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, even though it may be frustrating for a Picasso to look at a child’s doodles, it’s because of those doodles the child has a chance to become the next Picasso.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” ― Pablo Picasso
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