I once had the mindset that photography was just about taking pictures. My opinion since then has changed, but I believe there are still some people who would say the same. Depending on the photographer and their style, it sometimes can take a lot of effort in the setup and preparations of a photograph, and could be considered more important than the result.
One artist I was introduced to in the past month was Gregory Crewdson. His method is rather unique in comparison to the typical photographer. When taking a photograph, he treats it like a movie set, from getting permits to close streets to taking on a crew to help with the production. Every aspect is carefully scrutinized to create the perfect shot. What results is a beautifully thought out photograph.
Another artist, and a long time favorite of mine, is William Wegman. While he doesn’t go to great lengths in the preparation of a photograph as Crewdson does, his work still requires thought to the setup of a shot. His other challenge is working with Weimaraners and having them cooperate with whatever elements he incorporates into the photograph. The results range from goofy and fun loving, to beautiful caught-in-the-moment shots.
While both artists take a different approach in the construction of a photograph, both require a thought out plan. It no longer was about the photograph, but the process leading up to the result that made their work so great and stand apart from others.