Emotion vs. Intellect

Each of my photography sessions at Roclord Studio is followed up a few days later by a presentation session where I show the images to my clients on a large-screen TV monitor. After 10+ years of going through this process with thousands of people I’ve made some observations and drawn some conclusions. It’s almost always better to choose art using your emotions and not your intellect. Theory of any artform is always formulated after the fact. To take food (my favorite subject) as an analogy, when you taste something, you generally get a sense right away as to whether you find it tasty or not. You don’t refer to a Harold McGee theory book about food science to determine if you like it (let’s see, the balance of acid to sugar is approx a 3/1 ratio so….I guess I like it). Photographs are no different from burritos. When you look at an image of your daughter for the first time you either feel something or you don’t. So often I observe people struggling with this inner conflict of having a strong emotional reaction to an image only to have the instinct overpowered by her mother’s voice in the back of of brain calling out all reasons for not liking the photograph, “He’s not looking at the camera…She’s not smiling…Her hair is so messy…Bobby and Janey are looking in two different directions!” You’re really better off trusting your own emotions. It’s okay to analyze what you did or didn’t like after the fact, The peanut butter sandwich was nasty. I think it had too much salt…yukk!

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