Conceptual Portraiture? Figure Study?

The question of genre, sub-genre, sub-sub-sub-genre. Conceptual portraiture, figure study, documentary, fashion, fetish erotica, exactly what is "it". The fact of it is I don't really know yet. A better question might be does everything really need a genre? Does it have to be put in the correct box? Maybe personal projects shouldn't really revolve around some sort of pre-defined notions of genre, categorization, or taxonomy.

I'm really not a big fan of rules and rebel violently against categorization in all things when stamped on me. I'm also not a big fan of the opposite either. You know; "breaking the rules of…", etc. Think about it a second, both are exactly the same. The latter breaking of, violating of, etc being a feeble attempt at anti-genre and being self-limiting at best. In reality it's usually a marketing ploy of some sort as if whatever rules there might be by mandate or convention are that hard or dangerous to break. Yeah, right, especially photographic rules.

Personal projects are a tricky beast in the 21st century. Everything and anything is treated to some sort of commercial thought process. Everything has to have an audience and the goal is to maximize that audience right? How does this make sense at all for "personal" work. It doesn't in fact the entire definition of that in todays world really needs to be re-evaluated. If shared on a blog, facebook, twitter, flickr, instagram, on and on, none of it is personal work is it? On the other hand everything is "personal work" if you are not actually commissioned to make it for someone else which would be the vast majority of everything right?

I guess the tricky part in however you define personal photographic work and how I look at it is the dividing line must and has to be intent when making it, curating it, and revising technique, subject matter, treatment, and presentation. Those revisions can fall into two broad categories; Those that are in service to internal factors and those driven by and influenced by external factors. I would suggest if driven by the latter that would probably fall into the category of not necessarily personal work any longer. A trap that's difficult to navigate around. It probably always has been but even more so now.

End Notes

All photos made with the Fuji XT-1 and 18-55mm XF. Processing. I forget and don't want to look it up.