As a viewer, you rarely look at a photo and say “wow, that shutter speed and ISO really moved me,” right? The most memorable and moving photos may not be technically perfect at all. Adrian McDonald is the quintessential photographer, with photos that resonate with the viewers because of the way it makes them feel. That’s how you remember a photo.
McDonald’s mantra on his creative process is to “forget about the artist and the sphere in which that photo exists, and focus on only just the photo and emotions it evoke, everything else will follow.” Everything else is important of course and cannot be forgotten, but McDonald doesn’t let the technicalities dictate his creation, and instead he believes that error is not error at all.
“As photographers, we sometimes feel the need to be in control of every little element of our setup; from lighting, lens, accessories to even the model, after all -- it is a part of our job to somewhat be in control, but is that control …always good for our art?”
His photos hit an array of sensations and feelings. Vulnerability, ego, growth, childhood, loneliness, self-esteem, addiction, suicide and more. McDonald’s advice to letting go of control is to remember it’s a reflection of your own insecurity and to let the natural flow of inspiration settle in.
“There is one key factor I focus on, and that's the emotions my photographs exude.” He says, “If I can't feel anything then I know I have failed. It's my belief that my work must have soul, one which resonates and stirs people inside out, whether it makes you feel angry, resentful, afraid, ashamed, guilty, worried or sad it's imperative that something is relayed and not just with mere subtlety but strong vibrations.”
His photos are proof that sometimes technicality should be secondary to emotion in order to create something memorable, introspective and breathtaking.