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Shoot One Thing That Scares You

February 15th, 2012  |  Published in Featured, Style

For those that consider yourselves a Jack of All Trades – this may not apply. Or rather – it should. You know who I’m talking about, the photographers whose list of “I specialize in” stretches from pet photography to sky scrapers to crime scenes. “I specialize in tree photography, boat photography, cat photography, sky diving photography”. Well, I believe that specialize shouldn’t be as broad as a list of more than one, maybe two items. So, if you feel you specialize in moon photography, underwater photography and QuinceaƱera photography, then you’re probably not going to follow my lead and get out of your comfort zone.

No, this isn’t a post for the Jacks. This is a post for those who really do have a specific focus, with most of us it being weddings and portraits. But that’s still too broad, isn’t it?

Take weddings – you might specialize in available light or shooting for shadows, making brides look like princesses or making couples look like themselves. You might like to skip the getting ready portion and stay through the entire reception, dancing to Stevie Wonder til the wee morn. Or you might love the nerves and raw emotion of the earlier part of the day and peace out right after the first dances. Whatever it is, to be consistent, you are told to have a formula – to have a label. To be a photojournalist, to be a glamorous portrait photographer, to look for emotions, to concentrate on details, to be master of off-camera light and use it all day.

Chances are, you have that formula, that label, because you think it’s pleasing someone. You think it’s what your couples want and that’s why they hired you. You think it’s what the magazines look for, and you want to be published. You think it’s what makes you cool amongst your peers, and you want acclaim. All justifiable reasons, don’t get me wrong. I do think consistency is important to establish a brand and I also think you’ll never grow if you pigeon hole yourself.

So, if you’re really truly specializing in one thing, (be it portrait photography of women in wings with a ring flash, or simply glued to your zoom lenses), I challenge you to take on a little project going into this season and break your mold. Face the fear. Shoot one thing that scares you. You’ll never grow if you don’t try.

With that, I am going to make my own goal. This season – at each wedding (which are all within a 8 miles of each other), I am going to find some place new to shoot. I will not photograph a portrait in the same location, the same way, twice. I’ll report back and I hope you do too!

Since no post should be without a photo – check out this image of me in about 1980. It’s the only one I have of me at this age, laughing. Imagine if the person behind the camera waited until the light was perfect to capture this? No photo for me.

This post was inspired by the Wedrockers talk at Mystic Seminars, or as I like to call them – The Mexican Contingent. They are a small group of wedding photographers in Mexico who talked about never shooting the same thing twice, growing and shooting for yourself at each wedding. I thank them for pushing me to grow.


About zofia

zofia has written 22 post in this blog.

Zofia is a Nantucket Wedding Photographer who combines style, love and art in everything she creates. She wants to be the girl with the most cake.


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