Photography is not an objective medium. Thank goodness.
There’s no such thing as an unbiased photograph. Even when I was a photojournalist, it was simply impossible to create a picture without a point of view.
I was a photography major for a while in college. It didn’t work out. I didn’t like any of my professors and it was clear the feeling was mutual.
Maybe if I had taken a class with the one professor I admired, things might have turned out differently. Professor Swedlund and I had a few conversations in passing about the role of the photographer in the realm of documentary and journalistic work. He had his ideas and I had mine, but we both agreed on the impossibility of not injecting the artist’s point of view in a photograph.
As a portraitist, I seek to put beauty above all. This session in Lake Saint Louis required me to do the opposite of WYSIWYG or “what you see is what you get” in order to distill a subpar environment into a background that supports and enhances my subject.
WYSIWIWYTS or “what you see is what I want you to see” is a more accurate description of my approach.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.