In other words why are you taking pictures? To this end I could ask even more questions and its important that a photographers understand why they want to do something. In my line of work I meet a lot of photographers in various stages of their own personal growth. I enjoy knowing why people want to do something and specifically why they pick up a camera in the first place. Most answers are about the enjoyment factor, that they enjoy photography. My question is why? Is your sole intention for picking up a camera, to fill up hard drives full of images that will never see the light of day? Knowing the why and understanding how to achieve that why, is critical to the growth of any photographer.

This conversation recently started around a camp fire in the Pafuri region of the Kruger, I was on an Africa Photographic services assignment to host the EcoTraining Photography course at their Makuleke camp. Most of the students were at the beginning of their photographic development and they would not know exactly what their photographic intention is. They just want to learn about the art of photography and that is great. At the start of the course I asked each of the students to think of 5 images they would like to photograph in the future, these could be as cliche as a silhouetted giraffe image. All I was trying to achieve was to get the students thinking about the creation and processes of making photographs, instead of just driving around and just taking pictures … There is a difference there and that difference is your photographic intention.

All these questions are to help people find their photographic intention. I have a simple intention to create images that are different and by constantly challenging myself with new techniques. By challenging myself I am constantly learning and this will help me to never reach a plateau of personal growth. This is very important to me, because I don’t want my photography to ever become boring. It also allows me to always be able to teach people something new, creativity should go hand and hand with experimentation. Never stop learning!

Regards

Etienne

Here are a few images from my recent time in the Makuleke.