This week I wanted to chat with you about "finding your style."
Last September I went to Click Away and I got to sit in on a seminar led by Kristen Cook, an amazing Australian newborn photographer. And what she had to say really resonated with me.
She talked about how we look to other photographers work and in seeing what is amazing about their work and what is not so amazing in ours, we start thinking: oh "I just need that blanket" or "I just need that lens" to have images look that good.
And it struck me at how much we can look to external things to improve our photography, we are on this never ending search for that magic button to press to make our photos go from meh to MAGNIFICENT!!
(edited with Bliss 2 from The Clean Look and Awaken from Simply Dream)
I know I have done this with blanket backdrops for newborns, props for newborns, lenses, a full frame camera, I even used to do it with actions and editing techniques... I have dropped in all literal senses of the word: LITERALLY thousands of dollars on searching for that magic button.
Then this winter, when photographer blues hits us the hardest, I began getting beyond frustrated with my images. Speaking to colleagues I started to second guess my actions, my talents, my abilities. "I'm just a hack!" were words that actually came out of my mouth!!
When I finally stopped beating myself up, I decided to find the solution to this problem. I mean I am not a hack, really... So what is it that is standing in my way of LOVING my work?
That's when it dawned on me. Something that happened to me a couple of years ago is the key to me falling back in love with my work!!
Thinking back to when I first started photography, I would go insane trying to FIND my STYLE... It was a daily quest. And a super frustrating one. Then I took the Illuminate course with The Milky Way. And soon after that people started saying that they could pick my pictures out of their feed!! I was amazed! I didn't know how but I had found my style!!
Remembering this made me realize the answer has been staring me right in the face all this time!! The ticket to finding your style is good lighting!!! You will not love your images if the lighting is somewhat off. And you may know how to compensate for that bad lighting with processing in Photoshop, but it will never make you truly happy.
So there it is folks! Lighting! It's the key to finding your style and it's the key to being happy with your images.
(edited with Magic 4 from The Magic Look)
So if you are looking for your style, or looking to find out why your images don't make you happy, put down your credit cards, get off those prop sites, and get into a lighting class. Or research it online. And MOST IMPORTANTLY: practice, practice, practice.
Find. Your. Light.
(edited with Magic 1 from The Magic Look and Sweet Slumber a limited release action available with a purchase of the full Simply Dream set)
PS If you are interested in taking the Illuminate class, course registration for March classes closed yesterday, but if you email email@example.com and tell them Reina sent you they can fit you in (and I get a bit of love back too!!) Illuminate is a super affordable and informative online course that opens you up to a wonderful and positive community of photographers who leave the drama at the door and focus on bettering each other on their growth as photographers!! Classes start March 18th!!