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Note to Self

I came across an article written by Blair deLaubenfels. She was specifically speaking to wedding photographers, but I found it helpful and inspiring. They were words I needed to hear at this point in time. I catch myself being very critical on my work and lusting over the equipment, models, and experiences of other photographers. A couple posts ago, I made the confession that many a time, I try to be someone I'm not. Not in a fake way, but I attempt to imitate other photographers. While this isn't bad, I tend to forget to show myself in my photos because I'm trying too hard to be someone else. It's not a matter of just wanting to improve, because that in and of itself is not a bad thing; it's when I become so frustrated with my slow-moving progress that I can't see past my mistakes instead of being ok with the adjustments that come with learning. So I needed to hear what deLaubenfels had to say...

“You become an artist when your work becomes truly distinctive, so don’t try to shoot like other photographers, and don’t hesitate to go big with your unique style. If you have a whimsical flair, play it up. If you love pure documentary photography, don’t waver from your path with lots of posed portraits. Make every photo you show move, inspire, or impress your viewer and leave them wanting to see more of life from your unique perspective.

            One way to start honing your style is to ask yourself what you would shoot if you already had all the money you wanted. If you answer that you would love to shoot fashion, work that into your photos and see how it can help define your style. Want to shoot nature and landscapes? Fine-art galleries? Then embrace your natural inclinations and look for ways to bring those styles into your shoots.

            To be sure your work is all about you, try staying away from other photographers’ blogs, Instagram feeds and award sites for a few months. Fill your office with pictures or make an inspiration board of your favorite work and look for photos that you love from outside (a certain) genre, like fashion, nature and travel magazines.

            With a portfolio that hits all the markers here, you are bound to attract more enthusiastic clients that vibe with your work and clearly see its value.”

- Blair deLaubenfels

abby tran