Thursday, July 21, 2011

Shoot for you

Warning: This is a rant.

Many of the photographers I know spend a lot of their time shooting for clients. That is to say - most of my friends make money on photography and have to live up to other people's standards for their imagery.

I firmly believe that every project you shoot should be a personal project. Your vision for everything you shoot should be what separates you from the masses who are all trying to create and re-create the same pictures in a style that is "hot" or "in demand" now.

I shot one of these trying to duplicate a popular style, and the second in the way that I wanted to shoot it. Which is more powerful?

Sure, the back-lit, lens-flare, portrait-in-a-field look is "in" now, but why do I keep seeing the same concept repeated in every fashion/wedding/commercial/music publication? It seems like the photo industry *thinks* that it has to balance personal taste with what is in demand.

Your vision is in demand. You might not know it - and your potential client probably doesn't know it either  - but your creative voice is what will get you paid in the long run. Practice shooting what you enjoy in a way that you enjoy shooting it. Eventually, people will realize your consistent voice is better than those people who jump around trying to duplicate whatever style is popular.