When I’m feeling less than creative (too often) or think I’ve fallen into a rut (taking the same shot over and over), I look to other photographers for inspiration, especially those whose images are very different than mine. Here are a few I admire for their eye and creativity:
* Erica Allen — The image at right is from her series Untitled Gentlemen, which she calls “fictional portraits created using discarded studio photographs and anonymous faces from contemporary barbershop hairstyle posters.”
* Ross Sawyers — Like me, he’s intrigued by empty rooms. Unlike me, he photographs them and makes rich, emphatic images.
* Bill Mattick — I can see him wandering the fringes of L.A., pausing before empty lots, dirt roads and billboards, and seeing among the detritus an honest, but lonely beauty. See it for yourself in the Gardens of Los Angeles.
* Phil Toledano — This London photographer says “photographs should be like unfinished sentences. There should always be space for questions.” His series on plastic surgery, A New Kind of Beauty, raises plenty of questions. (See Conscientious for more on Toledano and the project.)