Guest Blog: Graphic Designer & Photographer Connor Dwyer
Over the past few years, my career path has transformed from studying business in college, to one as a freelance photographer and designer for major brands and top musicians. But, that’s not what I want to talk about today. Today, I want to talk about taking pictures of “boring things.”
As I was starting to dabble with photography in college, I did a year-long one-a-day photo challenge to try to capture my everyday life with a unique perspective.
Some days I very quickly found the shot. I’d be going cliff jumping with my friends, or would be at a concert with cool lighting. Those days were easy.
Other days, however, were the days I really learned how to see. How do I take a cool photo of me writing an essay, eating breakfast, or what is aesthetically interesting about the walk back home that I had seen so many times?
I accidentally dropped my breakfast in that last one actually. Instead of letting the moment go by as an inconvenience, my one-a-day challenge mindset allowed me to see it as an opportunity for a photo. The year long photo challenge of photographing “boring” ended up playing a huge role in changing the way I see the world, and in turn the way I grew as a photographer.
I want to encourage you to grow in the same way, and I want to start with a few questions:
Have you ever stopped and looked at the aesthetics of a pencil? The color of the side and eraser, the hexagonal geometry, the way the edges transform when it is being sharpened?
Because of my one-a-day challenge, I finally did.
Or have you ever paused while cleaning the dinner table and noticed the patterns of plates, the tones of the leftovers, and the way it quietly tells a story of the conversations just had moments before?
This was post-thanksgiving a year ago.
There is so much potential beauty to be found in the little moments around us. We just have to take the time to step back and see how not “normal” everything is. We get so accustomed to seeing stoplights or puddles, but if you actually think about what you are looking at, those things are ridiculous! A candle for example:
I want to challenge you guys to find something today that you overlook and try to capture it in a new light. You don’t have to capture the whole thing either. In fact, I find that simplicity in aesthetic helps highlight what is often overlooked.
Look for things like pattern, texture, color, composition, juxtaposition, and especially light. Also, consider including a human element to your photos by directing a friend or capturing a stranger. It’s the little things you wouldn’t normally notice that can set your photos apart.
No matter if you are in fashion, sports, landscapes, or somewhere in between, intentionally stopping to notice the beauty around you will begin transforming the way you see the world, and especially the way you photograph.