What are cliches?
Greetings fellow users of the internet.
It's been a while since I've posted anything, as I've been rather busy.
Today I wanted to discuss something using some of my older images. The idea of "cliches"
I have, on occasion, heard other photographers refer to flowers as a "cliche" subject to shoot. I've always found this an interesting "critique" as just about everything is a "cliche" this day in age, when held under the same light. Birds, epic sunsets, women with blank expressions, and sports cars are all are subjects I see professionals photographing, all while brushing off flowers as "cliche", without any sense of irony. Don't get me wrong, it's not just flowers, I've also heard things like waterfalls, fireworks, and even specific locations like Kirkjufell being put under the blanket of "cliches"
So the question I'm interested in discussing is "what is a cliche, in the world of photography?". Can subjects be cliche? Can locations be cliche? How about entire genres?
Personally, I tend to avoid the word "cliche" as I tend to find using it as a criticism to be a little... well... cliche. It's what I've often referred to as "pseudo-criticism", wherein someone provides what appears to be criticism on a surface level, but actually fails to provide any meaningful information regarding the actual image or the quality. (For example, saying "I've seen so many pictures from this location, it's such a cliche" is basically like saying "I've seen so many people making this kind of pasta, so this pasta is a cliche" -- it doesn't actually reflect the quality of that picture... or pasta.) I always try my best to look at images with nuance, when providing feedback. I always keep in mind that just because I've seen some locations or subjects a ton of times, not everyone has. I understand that originality is one factor by which things can be judged, but it's not something that makes or breaks an image for me. Having an image similar to others may reduce it's market value, but it doesn't make it bad. The opposite is also true, something can be original, while being truly terrible.
I feel like the word "cliche" is overused. The way I see it, a subject can't be a cliche, nor can locations, even if they've been shot a million times. A subject is just something for the photographer to use to create their own original image. It's when that resulting image lacks any original thought or ideas that I would lean towards calling it "nothing groundbreaking", but I usually follow up with "but not everything has to be", and I still tend not to hold that against the image as I understand photographer work with what they are given.
Anyway, I'm curious to know what y'all think. How do you feel about using "cliche" as a criticism? Do you consider anything to be cliche?
Also, below, I've attached two images of what have been criticized as "cliche" because apparently daises are super common in some parts of the world. No consideration was given to the composition or editing. I was kind of going for a "fine art" style whatever that means, haha. Feel free to give feedback on these images, as well, haha.