Photos are serious business.
People like to say that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. And that’s true–we could all use some lightening up about life in general, because no one’s going to die if we do this or that wrong–and if they do, big whoop. Death isn’t as scary as people make it out to be.
Not sure how I went from the topic of photos to death in three seconds flat, but back to photos. Making photos for other people is intense, because they are depending on you to provide something beautiful and timeless and long-lasting. and then you have to somehow be creating for yourself, to somehow be making things you think are beautiful and forget everyone else. put a period at the end of that sentence and just leave it be. You have to do both of these things at the same time.
But no one is served by giving clients the photos you think they want. You have to make the ones you want to make, show them, and trust that the people who are attracted to that vision will be head over heels in love with your future creations.
And how do we actually figure out what we want to make, when we artists and photographers are swimming in globs of inspiration and molds of how we “should” do things? There’s nothing wrong with inspiration of this kind. I happen to believe it’s vital to the craft. But at some point, when we unplug ourselves from these expectations and fears, what in the world will we want to make? That’s the scariest place. Scarier than letting other people down because we didn’t create what they wanted. It’s scarier because it’s all on us–we’re deciding everything and people have to take it or leave it. We can’t make any excuses for it. We can’t shift the blame.
I love this quote I found today by Larry Moss:
“We have a terror of being seen by making choices.”
Here is my only piece of real advice. Ready?
Take time and make time every day to nurture the artist. The muse inside who got you into this in the first place.
And now to you. You, darling. The one who needs and wants to document your life and love in photographs.
Does all this philosophical stuff make your eyes glaze over? Yes? That’s fine. If you want a photographer who has her formulas, her tried and true ways, and her surefire shots, that is totally and completely alright. A photographer who rushes to your session and does the same thing she’s done, not because she’s a bad photographer but because she’s tired, or she needs the safety of it, like you.
But I don’t want to be that photographer. I refuse to be. If you need the security of knowing your photos will be exactly like so-and-so’s, don’t lay the heartache of adventure on yourself. If you need that safety, mosey right along. It’s really okay. You’ll find that photographer easily enough. And I bet the photos you get will make you wonderfully happy.
But if, by some chance, you would like to venture into this wild world of creating with me, and you itch for the buzz that comes when we will squeal together because together–not me alone–we are making the most wonderful photographs–welcome.
If you want to do this from a soulful place, a place from which we’ll draw the most authentic art–come on in.
I’d like to know you.
with a whole lot of love,
Brooke Schultz is a wedding photographer who tells beautiful, romantic stories of love and life through soulful photographs. She is a wild thing and sometimes shares philosophical musings on the subject of photography because she believes in the art of photography, not just doing it to make some bucks. (And also? If you’re doing photography “just to make money”, I need to tell you you’ve picked the wrong thing. Any photographer who’s been through the month of April (cough: taxes!) can tell you that.)
If you’re feelin’ this post, read more such musings here.