I’m never satisfied with my own work, I can do better there must be something I’m missing. Have you ever had these thoughts and feelings? I would guess most of us have on multitudes of circumstances if not then we should. Some folks may be perfectly content to accept what they have who they are and what they create. This isn’t a critique of ones personal life but of the ones who create and express their world through creative outlets as the arts.

I’m quite serious on the never satisfied part and the more thought I give it the more I hope I am never satisfied. The need to become better, to create better works more expressive works is fundamental to the growth of ones personal expressions. I write this with these thoughts in mind; many photographers I believe more accurately should be called documentarians.  I say that from the aspect of the photograph being more of a record of reality than one of influencing ones senses or emotions. I love documentaries, seeing how things are or were about the natural world that surrounds us is not only educational but necessary. That is not why I create images, and from reading and gaining knowledge of other photographers it is not why they create images as well. Personal interpretation and need to invoke an emotion is high with most works created, why then would one hold back in the creation of such art. When the painter paints their masterpiece do they hold back on their interpretation because someone may not believe the painting is real? Do they not make the grass as green as the want or the sky as rich in dramatic colors as they want? Do they hold back on their personal feelings or how they want their work end up because of others perceived thoughts, if they did, what would be the point of creating personal works?

Things can become somewhat convoluted in the photography world where there are those who think if you have somehow manipulate, add or subtract colors, contrast, tints, tones, light or do any other modification to the photograph it is now somehow not real or worse yet use the evil word, “fake”. My reply to this is, thank goodness the last thing I want is for someone to think I simply document what I see.

We must release that creative part of us that wants to be different, that is never satisfied and must constantly strive for a more personally creative and expressive life.

© Brad Mangas