I am responsible for doing that. Are you? Have you ever heard about a cool place close by, and the photographer in you couldn’t resist searching Google Images for it to see if it was photogenic? If so, this might sound familiar. You make an instant decision regarding whether or not it is worth your time to check out the location based on a few photographs that you see that were taken there.
When it comes to being creative, wouldn’t you say that doing this would be doing oneself a big disservice?
My research has shown that this is a pretty typical part of the process for a photographer working in the present day. Anyone can easily type in a location and instantly see not only what a place generally looks like but also how a photographer chose to photograph it on Google, 500px, Flickr, or Instagram. This allows anyone to see not only what a place generally looks like but also how a photographer chose to photograph it. You don’t bother with it if none of the several frames that you look at include anything that inspires you.
I completely understand how disheartening it can be to travel to a new location without bringing back any mementos to commemorate the experience.
Why are we even considering the opinions of other photographers or casual visitors when determining the creative potential of a location? I think we can all agree that each one of us brings something special to the table in regard to the work that we do. This is one of the reasons why we continue to produce images.
Because each of us has a unique set of capabilities and limitations in terms of our creative vision, we each have a unique perspective on the same location. To really understand what we have to give, however, we need to be present in person at the location in question. It just takes one person with the right perspective to share these incredible tales, and there are locations out there just waiting to be discovered.