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Finding Yourself in Your Photography

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finding-yourself-600x362 Finding Yourself in Your Photography Guest Bloggers Photo Sharing & Inspiration

Why We Take Photos

Photography in itself is extremely personal. Most of the time we are out to share with others what we see. Maybe we saw something amazing, or something unique, or a smile from our grumpy uncle. We capture these things because something about them stood out to us. Either it reminded us of something or it told a short story about something. Or we just thought something was pretty!

Over time we become more technically proficient and the quality of our images improve. Our subjects don’t change much, but our images do.

Getting Lost in Photography: How to Re-Find Yourself

Then, one day, someone may ask if you can take photos for them and they’re willing to pay you. And then more people ask, and then more and soon you’re taking photos and getting paid!

And that’s when you start getting lost. You spend so much time taking photos for others and not for yourself. At this point it is crucial that you find yourself in your photography.

The best thing to do here is to spend a few hours selecting your favorite images from the past year or so and really look at them. Here are some things you should look for.

  • What is it you most like to photograph? Are most of the photos you chose landscapes, or macros, or portraits or events? Do you take a lot of photos of people but are most happy taking nature photos? Are you spending a lot of time taking photos of newborns, but actually prefer doing engagement sessions?
  • What are your tendencies? When given an option do you prefer getting a wide shot or do you prefer getting nice and close? Do you like getting the whole scene in focus or do you prefer isolating your subject? Do you prefer taking photos from low angles, head on or from the side? Do you like capturing a full scene or waiting for a specific moment? Are you more drawn to nature backgrounds or urban?
  • What are your preferred lenses? When you prepare yourself for a session what is the lens you always pack first? If you could only own one lens which would it be? Do you prefer using a zoom lens or prime lenses? Do you have a preferred focal length?
  • Why do you shoot the way you do? Do you find it more comfortable shooting from a distance or being in the middle of the action? How did you come up with your go to shots? From memories, inspiration, or instruction? Do you like taking a lot of photos “playing it safe”? Or do you like to think, compose and then shoot? Do you prefer taking photos where you have a lot of time to work with or do you prefer a steady pace?
  • Editing trends change over time, but why do you edit the way you do? Do you like to keep things looking natural and candid? Do you like adding filters and effects to make your images pop? Do you prefer bolder colors and good contrast? Are you an all color photographer or do you also enjoy black and white photos? If a new trend started would you follow it or keep your style?
  • What makes your photography unique? One word answer. You!!

 

Should you build your photography around your uniqueness?

Yes, of course. Stick to your passions and your strengths! Don’t do weddings just because you think the money is there if you like senior portrait photography more. There are many photographers who make over $1,000 per senior session.

Showcase your best photos on your website that tell a story of your style and vision. Charge what you’re worth!

You’re not like the other dozen photographers out there trying to be like the photographer up the street. If your style is different embrace it!

 

Value your work and others will value it as well.

I hope some of these suggestions are helpful to you finding yourself in your photography. We sometimes get so busy taking photos that we forget our place in it.

Tomas Haran is a custom portrait and wedding photographer based out of Worcester, Massachusetts. You can find him on his website or his blog.

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  1. Todd on September 17, 2008 at 7:49 am

    WOW! Sounds pretty nice. Now to decide to be a first adopter and help Canon test it, or wait for the firmware upgrade when they fix everything! I love Canon gear, but it seems they do release new bodies before they are bulletproof. They are still having some issues with the 1D MIII.

  2. Natasha Whiteley on September 17, 2008 at 9:13 am

    YUMMY!

  3. ttexxan on September 17, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Sounds like its going to be a pretty good cam if you already have a 5D. I was waiting to see what it might hold, but going to stay with my ole trusty D3 and D700. The frames per second is just not high enough and doesn’t sound like they have improved the AF system when it comes to shooting sports. For weddings I can say the ISO of 6400 is fantastic. However, overall performance at this price range the D700 has more of an edge with better feature set.All in all an improvement over the past 5D, but thought there might be more WOW!

  4. admin on September 17, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I actually do not have the 5D. I have an OLD 20d and a 40D. I will likely give my twins (almost 7) the 20d to learn on. And I will use the 40d for sports and the 5d mark II for portrait work.I almost wanted to switch to Nikon with that D700. BUT I love my Canon L Glass. I have invested in it and LOVE the 35L and 85L especially. I have a few other zoom L lenses which are nice – but these primes are the reason I stay!

  5. Melissa on September 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Will all our lenses for the 40D work on the new 5D? Like you, I have too much invested in Canon lenses that I won’t switch to a different brand. I did notice that it takes a different battery grip. 🙁 I currently have the 30D and 40D and previously had the 10D and 20D. I have been fortunate to have people ask me if they can buy my old cameras when I am ready to upgrade so I always have the incentive to upgrade. Do you think the 5D will be that much better than your 40D? Any input you have, I would appreciate.

  6. admin on September 17, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    The EF-S lenses will not work with the 5D. I do not have any but if you do, they will not. Most lenses will work though.I would guess the 5d will be better at high ISOs and it will give me more room in small spaces since it is full frame.Jodi

  7. Whitney on September 18, 2008 at 12:12 am

    I currently own the xti and do mostly portrait work (babies, children, and families). I’m looking to upgrade (either lenses or body) eventually (or both) and am wondering WHAT to begin saving for??? Any suggestions? My initial thought was to get one of the L series lenses (all i have is a image stab small zoom and a 50mm 1.8 lenses). I am fairly a newbie at this all, just drooling over other photog’s beautiful works of art!

  8. family portraits newcastle on January 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks , I’ve just been looking for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the best I’ve found out so far. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you certain in regards to the source?|What i do not understood is in fact how you are no longer really much more neatly-favored than you may be now. You’re very intelligent.

  9. Wedding Photography Derby on January 1, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I think anyone should strive to find their own unique style that they are comfortable

  10. Nancy Zavaglia on January 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    wow that page inspires me even more.. how true i was too busy shooting people and got lost in myself.. so decided to stop for a month just to find my talent again .. still looking 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  11. Linda on January 2, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for making me think again about what it is I do and why I love to do it. 🙂

  12. Tomas Haran on January 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks Nancy. I’m glad this post helped.

  13. Mansoor on January 5, 2014 at 11:12 am

    This article came right on time..I really needed some self -discovery as I get lost in shooting different clients.Thanks for the wonderful post! 🙂

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