“Recently I was chatting with an art director I frequently work with. She is someone whose opinion I have respected for a long time and whose attention I looked to get early on my career by entering contests that she was judging. We have spent many years collaborating on projects and discussing the art and the business of photography. I have admired her for her continuously fresh approach despite many years of being in the industry.
Our conversation today became about how she recognizes the differences in photographers work, how some work stands out and is able to draw her in while other work while technically competent seems flat. This ties into something that I have been thinking about for a while…
‘maintaining a sense of “voice” a clear personal vision while still growing and evolving to stay relevant to the times and trends.’
I have grappled with how quickly some photographers completely change their style and looks to whatever is the “new look”- I wondered if this doesn’t just homogenize everyone who can competently achieve that look. How can they possibly stand out? For me, choosing a clear vision and persisting in keeping a clear voice illustrates best for me how I feel about what I am shooting and what I want to communicate. I guess four years at art school makes you realize that that is what it is all about anyway.
I think all photographers have so much to express and have so many great new tools to achieve their vision. I hope that each new photographer recognizes the potential of what discovering their own vision can do for their career. Not only will each assignment be kick ass because you will be hired to shoot YOUR vision, your style, but chances are you will be compensated well for it.
Note- discovering your own voice doesn’t come overnight- it takes time to develop, lots of shooting, lots of looking and lots of thinking about what you have to say. Then keeping it updated and fresh will seem like fun rather than a chore.”