April 19, 2024
Leica Q2M, edited in Photos on iPad

Chapter 06: What you’re supposed to shoot.

The Leica Q2 Monochrom journal.

When shooting microstock I was constantly pestered by the company to shoot the type of photography that was selling. The problem: I really didn’t want to shoot the subjects they were asking for. Even more, I realized that so many of those who were shooting for these services were producing shots that sold for a few cents rather than shots they really wanted to shoot. So people who really wanted to shoot flower photos that don’t sell well, found themselves shooting substandard people shots. I love shooting tombstones, but there’s minimal market for that. Photography for many microstock photographers had just become a low-paying, part-time job.

People are often remembered for that one thing they did that wasn’t their best work. Instead, I decided to shoot what I wanted and then try to sell what of that I could. I was happy with the quality of much of what I shot, but I didn’t sell a lot.

In getting a Leica Q2 Monochrom, I was really back to where I started in black-and-white. Selling really doesn’t matter to me now. When I do some prints for my walls or walls of others, they’re something I’m proud of.

It also changed the way I shoot. I find myself striving for better light on things that I’ve seen hundreds of times. I used to think: I have that shot already, why take it again? The problem is that I may have that shot, not the shot: the one that really reveals the subject in its best light. So I go back. It’s no longer about amassing images, but amassing a list of subjects worth revisiting. You can shoot the same thing over and over and the light will be different each time. As for exploring with my camera, I’m always on the lookout for new subjects to add to my list.

People assume you’re a certain type of photographer. You’re a portrait photographer or a landscape photographer. And shooters feel pressured to shoot what they think they’re supposed to shoot. But that you’re supposed to shoot is what makes you happy. Really, you’re only person you need to please.

Read the next article in the series: Do you need a UV filter?

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Photography Leica Q2 Monochrom

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