A tale of too many trophies

Whether they admit it or not, photographers deal in clichés.

They find themselves returning to oft-used subjects and ways of seeing.

Sometimes it’s laziness, or internal and external cobwebs, that force a retreat to one’s visual bread and butter.

When I started messing around in photography, for example, it seems like all I photographed were American flags. The words and history this piece of fabric called to mind (freedom! pride!) were, at the time, perfectly adequate substitutes for a lack of engaging visual content.

So I couldn’t help but chuckle when I recently found myself aiming my camera at a set of trophies (top). It was a near duplicate of a photograph I had made years earlier (bottom).

While both photographs originated with good intentions — hoping to find interesting details outside of the obvious — I scold myself, once again, for placing vague adjectives above what actually sits in the frame.