Are you feeling in a bit of a rut? Feeling a little ho-hum about your photography? CMmentor Melissa Koehler is blogging today with some ways to get refocused and energized for this brand new year. Thanks, Melissa!
refreshing your love of photography in 2012
Happy New Year!
As 2011 rolls to an end and 2012 is quickly upon us, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Especially if that also meant that on top of getting your family ready for the holidays you were also busy photographing other people’s families.
I know for me, the beginning of the year is usually a time to relax a bit and unwind. I like to reflect on the previous year and reminisce about how each session went with each of my clients. I make notes to myself about things that I could have done differently and would like to implement for new sessions. I like to set new goals for myself and my business as a whole. What can I do to make this new year even better than the last?
It’s really easy to get caught up while looking at other photographer’s work you admire, and say to yourself ” I want to shoot like them”. I admit, I start thinking like that too. But some recent personal reflections have made me realize the old saying:
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
Now, I’m not saying not to challenge yourself to get better because we could all use that. I’m simply saying that if your business is doing well, don’t try to change your shooting style to fit what others are doing. Now, if you’re still trying to find your style then that’s a whole other story. My point is, be true to yourself but add a bit of a power boost to your work.
What do I mean by this?
Well it could look different for everyone, but these are some things that are putting some extra pep in my shooting style for 2012:
Stop to smell the flowers.
Figuratively and literally. In my case my favorite flowers are peonies, so when I get them in my home I am filled with happiness and inspiration. I like to photograph them on my table. This year I plan to photograph them in ways that are much more unique and detailed and then transfer that style of shooting to my family and kids sessions. This can be applied to not only flowers but food, shoes, books etc.
I love to read, but I haven’t been able to sit down to a good book for quite a while. I notice that when I read my vocabulary and my imagination are much better. Plus it gives you time to really pamper yourself and take time out for you, which I think does wonders for our creativity. One fun thing that I plan to try this year is a themed shoot based on a book I’ve read. I know this has been done with movies, but I personally haven’t done it yet. I’m sure that once I start planning for the session based on one idea it will morph into something totally unique and creative ( at least I hope so).
Spending more time in the car.
I know this doesn’t sound like much but one really good way to scout out new locations is in the car. I NEED to do this this year. I’ve been so comfortable with my locations I want to push myself out of my box and find some new areas to shoot in. Shooting in a new area is usually very exciting and scary for me. But it’s always the push I need to get my creative juices flowing.
For ME this is key. I am usually drawn to simplicity and I need to get back to those roots. I want to start brainstorming ideas to add simple touches to my sessions without feeling like I need to drag a huge couch in the middle of a field ( which is pretty by the way). Kinda like the photography equivalent of the perfect black dress, heels and jewelry. I want to pair that idea with my shooting style. I just realized I sound really weird.
Yes, love. Showing more love to everyone in my life. Truly caring about each one of my clients so that I can capture more for them that mean the most. Not just showing other people love, but showing myself love. Stop comparing myself to other people in life and photography. Loving me for who I am and where I’m at in my journey. A little bit of love can go a long way in all aspects of our lives.
I’m sure that there will be lots more to add to the list, but I think these are a good start.
I wish you all the BEST year ever!!!
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Melissa is a portrait photographer based out of San Diego where she lives with her husband and two sons. Her high school darkroom is where her photography journey began and it has continually evolved over the years, especially after becoming a mother and realizing “that time flies so quickly. She currently shoots with a Canon 5d mark ii and a variety of prime and zoom lenses. I strive to capture not only the big picture, but also the little things.” Her passion is clearly her family and photography but she loves comfy pants, coca cola, Bon Jovi, movie theatre popcorn, and cheeseless pizza.