Recently, I went through a difficult period with my photography: I wasn't booking as many clients, I constantly tore my work apart, and I didn't know how to be better. I wasn't taking photos for fun anymore, I stopped enjoying it.
The portrait photography world is extremely oversaturated (no pun intended). There are so many people out there attempting to do the exact same thing I am and it's hard not to compare and analyze. With all of these photographers and bloggers comes a plethora of tips, tutorials, dos and don'ts. This seems beneficial but it can also be stifling, I was listening to outside voices more than my own instincts. The internet also serves up a huge amount of complaining and colleague-bashing that made me wonder why I chose to be a part of such a cruel industry.
After several months in the dark, I looked through some old photos of mine, and I both loved and cringed at what I saw.
I love photography, that's why I started snapping photos in the first place. I definitely wasn't that great in the beginning and my insides hurt at some of the first things I produced, but they're mine. I fell for the cheesy effects to make up for my lack in skills elsewhere and I tried very hard to please everyone. My passion burned bright.
All of this exploded and caused me to take a break, breathe, reevaluate my goals and peel the layers back until I was left with the basics. That's when I discovered my style, my preferences, and my voice. Hence, my new initiative: Simple. Honest.
I love the simple moments, I love honesty. I prefer photographing babies being fed in their mother's arms while she hums to them. I would rather photograph a bride and groom sneaking a kiss when they think no one is watching. I want people to look back on their photos and be reminded of that moment, what they smelled, how they felt.
So, from now on, I will not fit into anyone's mold, I won't be reading forums or applying other photographer's styles. I will be listening to myself and evolving based on my own experiences. If there's one thing I've learned from the photography industry over the last five years, it's that there is no photographer that is perfect for everyone. I'm going to stop attempting to be perfect and simply be me.
Simple, honest photography.
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