Top tips videos dominate the YouTube photography world. The breakdown of a complex topic into an easily digestible list satisfies our appetite for a quick creative boost. But are top tips videos really bolstering our creativity or stifling it? This video suggests that those videos may just be limiting our ability to create unique work.
Photographer Alister Benn of Expressive Photography unpacks the popular YouTube convention of making top tips videos and how such directives can hamstring our creativity. Opening with the analogy of the uniqueness of snowflakes, Alister reminds us that we are all products of innumerable circumstances: all different, all unique. These circumstances ultimately shape how we see the world and, of course, how we choose to photograph the world. Top tips videos are simply the culmination of one individual’s creative journey. The videos fulfill the requirements of quick and easy in the fast-paced modern world. Not unlike candy, top tips videos provide quick pleasure when what we really need is a wholesome meal.
In true philosopher form, Alister supplies us with more questions than answers. He concludes the video with an association exercise. He prompts the viewer to connect a piece of music to the photograph on the screen. The exercise gives space for the viewer to find a connection with the photograph based on their unique life experience and taste. Instead of plying us with that oh-so-sweet quick sugar buzz of a few top tips, Alister presents the opportunity for us to partake in a rich, home-cooked meal.