Anne Lamott reading
I liked her point about taking short assignments, producing a bad first draft, can show you more details that can evolve into a new part of the story or show you a new character. It really made me think of how observant I am when I go through edits and even when I'm shooting. You can't just focus on your main subject, you have to be looking for other things to add to your story, or possibly even a better subject.
My FAVORITE part of the reading though, was in her "Polariods" chapter:
"You can't—and, in fact, you're not supposed to—know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing."
You can have an idea of where you want your story to go, but you really can't know how it is going to turn out. You kind of just have to go with the flow and let the project evolve. You have to continue to get to know your subjects and their story so you can tell it better and tell it completely.
"You couldn't have had any way of knowing what this piece of work would look like when you first started. You just knew that there was something about these people that compelled you, and you stayed with that something long enough for it to show you what it was about."
Jay & Hurn reading
"Photography is only a tool, a vehicle, for expressing or transmitting a passion in something else. It is not an end result."
I really liked this quote. I think it is important to keep in mind that anyone can take pictures, but a true photographer has a passion for conveying a message or an idea that they want to share. It's not just about recording moments sometimes.
I thought one of the most important points was that a photographer must have intense curiosity. Mostly about their subject. It has to hold your interest or you won't be dedicated to putting in all the effort and time that it takes to produce a good story.
Their method to finding a subject was to write down anything you are curious about. It didn't even have to be related to photography. It just needed to be something you had an interest in. Then you had to take out anything you knew nothing about, at least until you did some research. After that they said to ask yourself these questions:
1) Is it visual?
2) Is it practical?
3) Is it a subject about which i know enough?
4) Is it interesting to others?
That should leave with you with some ideas to start for your story. You need to be specific with your subject in order to be successful.
Another important point they made was that you need a deep and long lasting respect and love of the subject matter. Otherwise you won't stick with it, and you won't have an interest in telling the story properly.
I also really enjoyed seeing their opinion on what made a good picture:
"The best pictures..., are those which go straight into the heart and the blood and take some time to reach the brain."