I have some amazing photographers on my friend’s list on Facebook, and they produce work that is always inspiring me to up my game, and do better.
 
For instance. I just saw some AMAZING photos by my friend Emilie Olson. Wow. And I immediately started analysing how she posed people, her composition, the lighting… all the things she is brilliant at. (and probably many other things too!) But I had to stop myself after a bit. 
Photo by: Emilie Olson

Photo by: Emilie Olson


There is an important concept when analysing other people’s work: What makes the amazing photographers on my list get their clients, is not the same thing that gets you clients. It’s something that most photographers know, but what I never really understood was WHY.  Doesn’t it make sense find amazing photography that is ‘better’ than yours, and practice that?  In fact… the only reason I am the photographer I am today is that I looked at other photographers work that I liked, practised the parts that I liked, and got good.

But I’m starting to realize that to truly separate from being just a “good” photographer to a great one, takes more than just great photos.

While I think it’s good to focus on your craft, and always improve technically, it’s important to also understand what your clients actually hire and love you for, and double down on that. The clients I have are absolutely amazing people… and the worst thing I could do is change something about my photography, that makes the awesome people I get to work with go away.

If you’re not careful…you can risk losing that special something that made you unique, and your clients say: “This is the photographer for me. he/she gets me!”

 

...you can risk losing that special something that made you unique, and your clients say: ``This is the photographer for me. he/she gets me!``

I think people like Emilie already know what I am just starting to discover: That how you feel about weddings, people, relationships…. experiences…. all of that is reflected in your photography.  When you have a collection of images that all speak to those beliefs, then clients see that resonate with it and then book a meeting.

So I’m glad I had this thought because I often put a lot of stress on myself to improve technically. And improving often involves throwing away something you had before. While I will always be improving my craft, this thought has helped me understand that the reason that clients hire me, is because they like the soup I’m cooking, and not someone else’s. And that I should keep improving not on what others have done, but on conveying the special something that I bring to the wedding experience.

There is an expression in the art world: That you need to find your artist’s voice.
So this is just a shout out to all the photographers that have inspired me, and helped me find my voice. Because it’s deeper than just a voice. It’s a channel for sharing with the world, what you believe, and finding other couples that share those beliefs too.

If that all sounds a little hokey or cheesy, the below photo might signal to you my belief that it’s okay. 😀

All the best!
– Mike

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