defining style, defining yourself.

If you've never seen the following video by photographer and blogger Zack Arias do it now. I'll wait.

If you're like me and every artist I know you've just felt instant kinship with Zack's "problems". Funny how we think we're pretty special and yet... we're all exactly the same aren't we?

I watched Apple's Meet the Expert with Mark Newton a few weeks ago and at one point he mentioned how insecure he sometimes felt when seeing the work of other photographers. And it looked and felt genuine too. In fact I got the sense that he probably went through the same torments on a regular basis as well.

Great success helps I'm sure. But it also probably exacerbates the problem by adding pressure to the mix.

In case you haven't guessed, I'm going through a similar phase right now. A rut of sorts. I read American Photo and want to hide under a pillow, sell my gear and grow corn for a living. Am I delusional trying to compete with anyone out there?

A lot of my angst right now has to do with style. No, make that (S)tyle. The kind of (S)tyle that's supposed to define who you are as a photographer. You know: Magnum/Redux kinda style. Keatley style. Or these guys - sigh. It's the capital S that signals you've crossed over into mythical territory, the land of (V)ision - yeah, the capital V is part of that equation too.

I keep getting pulled in by different looks and sometimes feel as though I'm running in too many directions, without aim. This week I'm thinking of sending photos to the Jen Bekman Projects, through their HeyHot Shot! contest. I need to send in three pictures. And I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SEND....   deadline's this friday. It's become this big huge monster of a decision, keeping me awake at night and making me over-evaluate my work as never before. For some reason I feel like this decision will decide the fate of my future approach to photography. It's silly as hell, I know. But there it is.

Should I go with these three:

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Or this:
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this (yes it's the same white truck pic):
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Do I go more personal with this:

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In the end, do they make any sort of statement?
Does it make sense?
Do they make me relevant as an artist or do I just look like some guy snapping pictures?

(S)tyle and (V)ision are fleeting creatures. Maybe you can only comprehend them through the eyes of others. And maybe it's the quest that's an end in itself.

So many questions... so little time. Do you know who you are?