An attitude common to writers and photographers

At this time of year I enjoy photographing the leaves. I don’t plan pictures, I’m more of a tourist snapper. I take photographs because I enjoy what I see. My pictures shout “I’m excited about colour, woot, woot!”

I’d like to learn more about composition, depth, light and shade, but I don’t know much about that stuff yet.

I wonder if good photographers are like professional writers.

Professional writers produce work with the reader in mind. To the professional writer the reader’s experience of the text matters more than any part of the writer’s experience.

When we write for ourselves, whether to express feelings or demonstrate intelligence, are we like tourist snappers? In my youth I wrote to display knowledge, to achieve grades, to express feelings and opinions. I wrote because I enjoyed feeling competent and creative. I wanted to impress.

I didn’t think about the reader’s experience so my writing veered from waffly to dry to downright unstructured. Is that like being a photographer who points and snaps because she’s excited about where she is?

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