If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Aside from being the lyrics to Freewill by Rush, that is a sound observation. I was scrolling through my instagram feed today and I came across several instances where photographers, having taken perfectly competent shots, were posting multiple versions of an image and asking the audience to suggest which they liked better. Black and white or color. Warm toned or cool tones. This crop or that crop.

What defines you as a photographer, or any type of artist for that matter, is your choices. By choosing to put the burden of saying “what's good/better” on your audience, you are telling them in essence that you don't know. You haven't decided what your point of view is. If you haven't made that statement, don't be upset when the audience doesn't have an opinion either.

“But who am I to tell them what they like?” You are the curator of your own gallery. Show them what you want. Show them truth. The people who are in sync with that truth will be fans/customers/followers. Those who aren't will self select out of your marketing pool. It's easier to market to 100 people who get you than it is to 100,000 who are lost in your self imposed ambiguity.

So you should never put out re-edits or multiple versions of a work? No, not saying that. But don't compete with yourself. Don't put them up side by side. As soon as you invite someone to like one better, you are also inviting them to like one less. You have just weakened your message. Put em out there. Different time. Different place. As long as they are solid on their own merits, each will find their own landing place. When you put two diamonds side by side, one will always sparkle a little bit more. But the other is still a diamond.

Shine on.

#creativeprocess #editing

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© 2019 by Nick Johnson.