"You must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.
Thoreau said, 'Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.' Don't be resigned to that. Break out!"
Robin Williams - Dead Poets Society
I am thinking a lot lately. I see so much in my line of work but also in all other creative industries lately, that upsets me.
Some of you know, that I am Co-Founder of"The Bohemia Gatherings" , where I not only teach women about film photography but also talk about finding your own voice.
"FIND YOUR OWN VOICE"
it's a term that has been over-used so much recently, that it seems to be mostly overlooked.
But now more than ever before it is CRUCIAL to sit down, think what it is you want to create, how you want to create,
WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE???
I am sad to see what is happening in the photography industry, and so so VERY TIRED of seeing the same thing over and over and over again.
Especially when I look at wedding-/family-/portrait-photography.
You can and must still give these images your personal stamp!
We all need inspiration of course.
And young photographers starting out often get sucked into the deadly cycle of looking up and following hundreds of other photographers to get inspired.
Let me tell you what will happen if you don't IMMEDIATELY STOP that.
Your little spark of art will die inside of you - faster than you can imagine - before you even put your foot properly in the door - it will be gone.
You can find inspiration in many ways that will actually help you grow and create amazing work. Look around you. What about reading, nature, real life stories, people-watching, fashion, walking through a city, travelling, food, music, painters...
If you keep trying to copy other photographers,
you will not ever be truly happy with the work you produce.
Because it's never YOU.
If you want to be happy as a photographer or any other artist you must be BRAVE.
You MUST WORK RIDICULOUSLY HARD.
You must listen to your HEART and sit down and take time and figure out for just yourself,
who you are.
Do you see yourself as an ARTIST or ENTERPRENEUR?
seriously - nowadays as a photographer you have these choices!
As an Artist you will strive to create unique imagery and you simply cannot stop because it's the only thing that makes you truly happy.
If you want to work as an artist you have to WORK HARD and PRICE CORRECTLY because unfortunately you cannot eat compliments and facebook likes.
As an Enterpreneur you simply strive to make as much money as possible with this line of work.
You also have to WORK HARD and PRICE CORRECTLY but you can happily ignore the artistic part of this message.
Do you really want to shoot 40 weddings a year? Under-priced to make sure you get as many as possible? Does it make you happy?
Or does it actually break you, you creativity and your spirit?
If you can say from the bottom of your heart, that YES, this is what you want to do, then by all means GO FOR IT.
Do you want to always be the photographer who can copy someone else for cheaper?
Or do you want to be booked because of YOU and because of your unique way of capturing moments, emotions, light....?
Do you want people to see your work and say "hey, it's just like so-and-so's" or do you want them to say
"when I see an image of yours, I know it was created by you before I even saw your name under it"
Please sit down, reflect, look inside of you what it is that you want to do and just DO IT.
There is no shortcut to SUCCESS.
There only is learning the hard way, working hard, breaking down, getting up again and starting from scratch, never giving up, always trying to GROW.
And there is no "top" you can reach because you should always strive to become a better version of yourself.
To be an artist is never easy, it is forever working hard and following your heart - and that really is no simple task.
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED - because it's the only way of life for me personally.