Gregory Heisler is a very talented photographer who believes in that technique can limit creativity. In a video giving advice to photographers, he stated “looking outside yourself for what’s going to spark your career or photo will not help you more than your own mind. Techniques are like gloves anyone can buy them and wear them for different occasions, your vision is like a fingerprint they don’t change. Techniques may actually hide your fingerprint so it doesn’t show as well.” He was saying that all photographers utilize techniques in their work but if you are wrapped up in the technique you use to compose a photo you lose the unique way you would take the photo. In Heisler’s photography, I notice there are a lot of black and white frames using a wide range of lighting techniques such as split, rim, short, broad and 3- point lighting. His skills also carry over to his color photography, his subjects looking comfortable in the frame as if they weren’t overly instructed to pose a certain way. As a photographer, he has a don’t think too hard, just shoot type of personality about him. He advises other photographers not to spend time studying the work of their idols and aspiring to be like them. He says ” Don’t think about how someone else would shoot think about how you would shoot then do it”. It means that photographers shouldn’t compose under the constraints of “how would this person/ or that person do it”, the only person you should be comparing your work to is yourself. He also encourages photographers to be resourceful and ready to shoot under any circumstances because there’s always a chance things will not go as planned. It’s possible that professional lighting won’t be available or you won’t have as much time with a subject as you may have anticipated, but you must be prepared to work well under pressure.
Its funny though that in his book he includes a section for each photo on the technical aspects of producing that image. he also will practice by setting up the lighting in the studio so that when he has 5 or 10 min with someone famous he can make the most of it. I don’t think he means at all that technique is not important. His craft is impeccable. I think he means once you have mastered the craft, you can use it in different ways. I strongly recommend his book which you can look at online through the City Tech library.
It is hard for me to tell from what you wrote if you looked at his work. Were there any photos of his in particular that you found interesting?