Photography is a saturated market filled with all kinds of jaw dropping artists. It can be so easy to look at the work of others and start thinking I should try to emulate that. My beach pictures should have more of “this,” my families should do more of “that,” my composition, angle, light, humor, drama, etc should go every which route.
I am reeeeally big about forever trying to grow as a photographer. I spend hours reading, listening, shooting, pushing myself daily to become better in this craft. But I have also been learning a lot myself this year. A lesson not taught on light or connection, but rather that it is ok to just be me. That my style is unique to the person I am. I don’t have to edit like that famous person or dress someone like that other. I just need to shoot in the way that makes my heart happy. That gives laughter and sweet memories to these families faces. And in stopping to compare myself to everyone else, I find that I can really enjoy the entire process, from the session itself to the editing to the delivery.
To remind myself of all this I did something really cheesy this year. I have my own custom preset that I use to edit my photos. Each one of course is still hand edited to be tweaked exactly to that lighting situation. But its a base that give all of my pictures a uniformed looked. Its not what is “popular” right now in the photography world. Everyone is dark and moody or light and airy and here I stand in this rich and vibrant world. But color and light make my happy, and so I have decided to stop trying to fit into anyone’s mold, and instead just be me. And that is what I named my preset: “be you.” And every time I click to add it to my photo I remember all these things again.
"An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success." ~Henri Matisse