As the turkey lies heavily in your belly, take a moment to sit back, relax, and read some of the best articles published on Fstoppers over the last year that didn’t quite get the attention they deserved.
This is a list of thought-provoking articles that you should have clicked on but probably didn’t, carefully curated to give your festive season some inspiration as the new year approaches.
Jimmy Chin is a hero to many, including myself, and my colleague Brian Pernicone interviewed this legendary adventure photographer and filmmaker, discussing in depth what it’s like to document a close friend defy gravity, logic, and death. In the award-winning documentary "Free Solo," Chin was filming a physical feat where, throughout the course of several hours, the slightest slip would have meant capturing a climber plummeting to the ground, thousands of feet below.
Writer Shavonne Wong has some genuine nuggets tucked away in the pages of Fstoppers, and it’s a standing joke among the writing team that her articles are some of the best on the site but don't draw the attention that they deserve. Added to that is the strength of her work, as evidenced in every article she’s produced over the last year. My favorite discusses the inspiration that she finds in travel and how shooting personal images (and stunning images at that) allows her to develop as a photographer, as well as adding to her own portfolio. What inspired me most is her ability to create opportunities for herself. Essentially, if you want a nudge for how to make things happen for you in 2019, start here.
I could have filled this list with articles by Christopher Malcolm. His gentle writing style and heartfelt level of personal detail make his articles stand out, often taking a step back from the small stuff and looking at life more broadly, albeit through the eyes of a photographer. In this article, he explains how he walked out of a job that many would dream of in favor of following his passion and choosing happiness and creativity over money.
Robert’s piece is an ode to never feeling ready and how you can fight this fear. Most importantly, as Robert proves, this sense of self-doubt is not a phenomenon that is uniquely yours; it’s industry-wide, and not only is this fear the hallmark of a diligent professional, it’s something that can be defeated. Click to find out why a healthy degree of self-doubt can actually be a valuable asset in your work.
Just as Shavonne finds evolution through travel-inspired personal projects, Eli explains how a conscious decision to break his routine led to greater happiness and creativity. And, as he notes, this doesn’t necessarily mean taking different photographs; for him, it was about giving something back to his community, which with the festive season upon us is something we can all take to heart.
Mike dug into the archives to reflect upon the work of a press photographer who, having served in World War II, documented some critical moments in US history from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Mike reflects on the life and work of a relatively unknown photographer and offers some thoughts on what it takes to always be in the right place at the right time.
Does Good Technical Knowledge Allow You to Accept Projects Outside Your Area of Expertise? by Tihomir Lazarov
Tying in with Robert's article, Tihomir tackles that classic conundrum: do you take on something you've never done before because it's too good a job to pass up, or do you err on the side of caution and turn it down for fear of biting off more than you can chew? All of us have been in a situation when a client has asked to take on a job that’s outside of our comfort zone, perhaps asking us to film something based on their love of your stills work. Tihomir explores how you can decide whether to say yes or no and how you go about delivering what the client wants.
One of my resolutions for the new year is to shoot in black and white. I began my career working in monochrome, not because I thought I was making art or working as a press photographer in the 1950s, but because I was using incredibly cheap film stock and the color reproduction was shocking. Looking back on that early work, it has a timelessness and weight to it that only comes about as a result of removing the color. In this thoughtful piece, Rex offers his thoughts on the emotional connection that happens when the color disappears and how that extra little layer between the virtual and real makes us relate to it differently.
If you’re now feeling inspired to do a good deed, Adam Ottke demonstrates how even minimal effort on your part can make a huge difference in a dog’s life. A 15-minute shoot followed by some hasty editing can have a dramatic impact on a dog shelter's adoption rates, as evidenced by this feel-good article. With a number of dogs needing new homes inevitably spiking in January, consider what you can do to help with a small donation of your time.
Sometimes, our best images come about as a result of our skill and hard work, and sometimes, they come about simply by hanging out with the right people. One of my proudest images happened because one of my closest friends is a remarkable individual, nudging me to contemplate what photography means when it is a truly collaborative process.
We hope you enjoy relaxing with this reading list over the holiday period. If there are any other gems that you spotted over the last 12 months that you feel didn't get the love that they deserved, please post them in the comments. Happy holidays!