Commentary: On Cliche

This is something I did my best not to discuss early on as an acknowledgment that a fairly large number of you in class haven’t had a lot of experience yet in taking pictures. But now that the end is at hand and (hopefully) all of you are busy working on your final projects, I would like to touch on something that is very dear to me.


 In my opinion, it’s not how good your gear is or how sharp your pictures are. It’s ultimately about what you can add to the bodies of work out there. You think your sunset picture is awesome stuff that demands a watermark bearing your name on it? Well, how does it stack up against the 11 million others that you can see with one simple Google search? The truth of the matter can be quite sobering.

As I have already alluded to at the beginning, I was definitely guilty of getting into this a LOT. It’s a trap that I don’t think anybody really manages to avoid. It is, after all, part of the learning process each photographer goes through before realizing their identity.

Take a look at this article. This one, too. And then take a look at your past assignments, blogs, as well as your plans for your final project. And share your thoughts with me.

When you’ve done that, what do you think are the things that can help you avoid cliche. I mean, it is impossible to completely avoid them. I get that. But most of you will be able to at least veer away from them to some extent.