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Hello and let me begin by apologizing for my late response.
Your write-up was very interesting to read. You brought up many interesting points. You started out by stating that you feel that not knowing much about professional photographers makes you wonder if you are a fake. I just wanted to say that there is a correlation between the two but it is not always of the most significant importance. It is true that in any field, aspiring artists or professionals stand to learn a great deal from their predecessors. Understanding who has come before you and knowing their work will undoubtedly have a great impact on the work you create in the future. However, this assignment wasn’t meant for you to list off the names of celebrated photographers. Instead, it was meant to get you thinking about your own artistic ambitions, style interests and biases as a photographer.
As you mention, every now and again a photograph can really grab your attention. It’s an interesting exercise to sit and think about the common threads that those images have. This often helps tell you something about your interests as a photographer and can help point you in the right direction, provide instruction and inspire you.
After you’ve identified photographers or single photographs that you admire you can deconstruct them from a technical, academic or artistic standpoint to find out why that particular image or photographer has the ability to speak to you.
Your write-up was fantastic because it seems as through you’re now starting to go through this process. You brought up a few different photographers and their impact on you. It seems as through there is something drawing you towards the concept of communicating the visual story of the “devastated soul”. There is something in this sad and dark imagery that has an impact on you. There are many of these stories that need to be told, and I hope to see some of your future assignments explore this issue a little further.
Best of luck!