Do Something Different

This one is for all of you aspiring portrait, maternity, engagement, family, wedding, baby photographers…

Think back to your parents saying, “If your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?” in their snarkiest parental tone. Feel free to read the next paragraph in their voice if you’d like because I’m basically about to write about the same point they were trying to make.

If everyone is shooting from the top of a ladder, don’t do that. Do something different. If everyone is adding dinosaurs to the background of their photos, don’t do that. Do something different. If everyone is post processing in muted golden tones, don’t do that. Do something different. If everyone is posing tiny babies in enormous head bows, don’t do that. Do something different. If ANYONE has already done that, don’t do that. Do something different.

Think. Be unique. Create new things. Be a leader instead of a follower. Do something different. Never mind the trendy, “everyone is doing it so I want to do it too” mentality.

Take a deep breath, think about what makes your style yours, be true to your vision, and shoot. The best photographers in the world, the ones that are household names, got that way because they were the FIRST to do something…not the second or the thirty fifth.

When you’re starting out and still trying to find your own style, it’s almost a relief to have someone point to an Instagram or Pinterest post and say, “I want this” because, hey, that’s easier than trying to figure it all out on the fly. But if you want to grow into a really good photographer, someone who is sought out for their own unique style, and someone who other photographers look to for inspiration, do something different.

Now a disclaimer: I think it’s perfectly acceptable to be influenced by another photographer’s style and this whole tirade has more to do with people trying to copy instead of create. And of course, it’s only my opinion.