Personal Narrative: A Career In Photography

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The journey to finding your photographic style is different for everyone. For some it comes easily and they fall into it naturally. For others it takes longer and is more of a struggle. I was one of the photographers who struggled. My style did not come naturally and it was a source of frustration for a long time. I was trying too hard to be like everyone else, I wasn’t paying attention to who I was as a photographer. Once I let go of the idea of fitting myself into someone else’s style, I was able to really look at who I was as an artist and what I truly love. Only then did my style truly develop.

Over the past couple of years I have served as a mentor to several up and coming photographers, helping them create a brand and a business they
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Ask for Help

Do you have a photography tribe? These are the people that understand the photography world and are a sounding board for your thoughts, questions, and ideas. If so, don’t be afraid to ask them for help. If you don’t have a group, I highly recommend you find or create one. Photography can be a lonely business so it’s important to have people you can go to when you need it. Look for photography clubs in your area, connect with people in our forums, and meet new photographers on PhotoBlog you can share with.

Once you have your tribe in place, ask them for help in defining your style. Sometimes we are too close to our own work to really see it. Have a friend look at your portfolio and give you feedback. Ask them to describe your work in three words. You might be surprised at what you learn about yourself.

A few years ago I attended a photography conference that I refer to as the Tipping Point in my photography style, and my business. At that point I had been shooting a little bit of everything and wasn’t really sure what my style was. I signed up for a portfolio review with an amazing photographer out of California. She looked at my work and could immediately tell me which type of images I preferred to shoot. She saw something in my photos that I was too close to see. She was able to identify my passions, aspects of my style and my weaknesses; thing I had not noticed before. Had I not signed up for that class, and had she not taken the time to really walk me through my work I may not be where I am
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