NDO Podcast – *Ep. 058 – Tim Muza – "THE WINDING CREATIVE PATH"
On the NDO Podcast, we interview creative entrepreneurs on their why, their how, and their story behind their craft.
This is a snippet from Episode 58 of the NDO* Podcast with Timothy Muza, a photographer, filmmaker, and creative director operating out of Waterloo, Ontario. This was one of the most fun episodes to film to date; we discussed the pros and cons of being solopreneurs, how the landscape of photography is changing with tech advancements, and our respective origin stories as photographers.
Ryan: I don’t even know if there’s even a direct question from this, but what do you think about this whole Instagram ecosystem we live in as photographers today? Like, the idea of specifically shooting for a square, 1000 x 1000 pixel format?
Timothy: It’s interesting….I mean, it’s a great promotional tool for me. 99% of that [account] is about photography, and rarely is it about anything personal.
I get that there is a weird addiction to it for many; an obsession with ego attached to these squares for the world to see – but I don’t think I subscribe to the idea of attaching ego to it. I dunno. That’s why I see it differently, I guess.
R: You’re not putting your sole validation as a photographer [and creative] on it: the likes, the comments, etc.
T: Yeah man, that’s too much work!
R: I mean, I get it – I don’t use it for personal things/posts either. I only use it as a portfolio to display my work. I never post anything corny that says something along the lines of:
“Meet Ryan! You’ll never believe these 10 facts about me. Subscribe to my content! New post!!!!”
T: It’s great as a photography tool, absolutely. I think it can be troublesome for a child or young adult thinking it’s a reality where you have to live life by the validation of tiny squares, but every generation has it’s problems…right?
R: I think it’s a really interesting time that we live in. At first, the whole crowd-sourcing of self-esteem from Instagram performance frustrated me to see, but then again, it’s not my job to care about that. It’s my job to have open conversations and make the best work I can as an artist, and not just for the 1000 x 1000 square format.
Take weddings, for example – something that represents a bulk of your work. Capturing that experience probably means everything for you because it’s an entire experience not intended for the purpose of a post. These are the moments that will be remembered for years to come.
T: Totally. And I think that if you’re interested enough in photography, you’ll seek information and find out why things [in photography] are the way they are today. The people that last in the craft definitely dig in the archives to discover work by Platon, Leibovitz, etc. as a way of improving their craft.
It’s a great tool, but I try not to think about it as anything other than that.
R: I guess it’s really a great litmus test for photographers vs. “content producers”. I just hope photographers do indeed dig back to the likes of Matt Barnes, Platon, Richard Avedon, etc.
Instagram is a hammer: You could build a house with a hammer for your loved ones to live and proper in, or us it as an assault weapon.
And it’s too easy to write off this generation as “attention-seeking” or “lacking focus”.
Every generation has its tribulations and it’s our job to help in the best ways we can.
T: Right. Again, if you’re committed enough to your craft, you’ll try and find where these trends are coming from. I think of it as a tool, like blogs back in the day.