Today I’m going to ramble a little bit. Because it’s beginning to snow outside. Because for once I actually don’t have a huge pile of editing waiting for me, and because I’m alone in my office for the first time in a week, and it’s quiet… and I can think.
I want to talk about being creative, and how tough that is sometimes as a professional photographer. I’ll admit, in my last job when I was working in an office going over numbers for a grant or writing reports, I used to think about how wonderful it would be to have a job that was creative. I would call David while at work and say “I just want to go home and make crafts” (yep. 100% true). I loved photography as a hobby. When you don’t have to worry about making an income, you CAN be 100% creative because you’re only doing it for yourself and not worrying about what your client will like or what they will buy and if you’ll be able to have your child’s birthday party at House of Bounce this month, or if you’ll be blowing up balloons and having baloney sandwiches (purely hypothetical – nobody in our house will touch baloney… : ). I guess what I’m saying is that going professional is a great way to ruin a perfectly good hobby.
I spent the first couple years as a professional trying to figure out what other photographers were doing and copying that. Then I tried finding out from clients what THEY wanted and trying to do that. It resulted in a lot of so-so images and left me wondering what happened to my creativity. It took courage to find my own style and follow it boldly – to take that confidence and demonstrate to clients that I knew what I was doing; I had a vision and I had to trust myself …so they could trust me.
Here’s the good news. We’ve come out on the other side. We’ve graduated to deli-shaved chicken and are at a place in our business that allows us to exercise our creativity. We owe that to our amazing clients – because they see the value in what we do. Because they see our work as art and appreciate our creativity. They encourage us to try new things and are willing to go there with us. And guess what? We’re STILL growing and STILL reinventing ourselves all the time, because that’s what creativity is all about.
Enjoy these images from Cole’s senior session. This is the style I’m absolutely loving right now – kind of editorial magazine meets fine art. Like it or not… it’s my creative style. : ) Looks like SOMEBODY needs to book their own session….