David Bowie​ "Never Play to the Gallery"

"It's terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other peoples' expectations​"

This David Bowie video sums up my ethos about photography and any art form, skill-set or talent.

On a recent job, I found myself creating a promotional video based on around 90% of the client's ideas and expectations. This included trying to match one of his competitors' promotional videos...always a mistake. However, I am pretty sure he booked me on the back of seeing my other promo videos which were all created 90% based on MY ideas.

Bowie: "It's terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other peoples' expectations. They produce their worst work when they do that."

I actually ended up handing over all the raw files for them to create their own video. It will be interesting to see what they produce.

Trust your creativity

It is very hard for a person in any creative industry to try and produce work based "entirely" on someone else's ideas. Ideas that are fixed firmly in their own head and struggling to get out. I personally love

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    Visiting new businesses
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    Finding out all I can about them
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    Meeting the people and
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    Getting an idea of what they are all about

I then go out and shoot the business based on what I see. I also choose the appropriate soundtrack to match the footage or photos I have taken. Bowie explains it so well in this clip and I think it is something everyone in the imaging business should watch.

Bowie: "If you feel safe in the area that you're working in, you're not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting. "

Be yourself. Create work based on your own research, ideas, imagination and viewpoint. Let the work come in from that (of course, all the while listening to the client to at least get some feel for the expectation from them).

Of course, I maybe talking complete xxxx.

About the author


Professional photographer and videographer for more than 30 years and all round photography, video and gadget geek. Shooting ground and aerial wedding, stock and commercial photography (and video) in the UK and Europe. Please note: As an Amazon Associate and affiliate for other companies, I earn from qualifying purchases from some links used in this website. You don't pay any more but the commissions earned means I can keep adding to the website and offer free training etc. I.e. they pay my costs. Thank you.