When I had first started along my photography journey, I received conflicting advice: find your style and stick with it or photograph and edit according to what you see when observing moments in time. Often times I like to shoot in light and airy areas, other times such as the photographs here, the light was hitting my sweet son's face in a way I knew at that exact moment what I set out to capture. Earlier that morning, my daughter was playing near our stair way and the light was brightly filling our entry way and I caught her giggling while unsteadily standing. With such differences in mood and edit, they both capture the moments as I saw them through my lens. I have come to the realization that rules exist to help guide but, photography is an art and subjective and personal to each individual. Your camera is your paint brush; you are painting a moment in time.
Now, when asked about styles by new photographers, I simply reply: Capture what you love! It is important to strive to be the best that you can be. Find photographers that you admire; learn from them but, do not copy them. Forcing a style that truly is not yours will not translate well. Your shots will feel flat because they are not who you are, you do not love what you are capturing. Practicing and asking for feedback regularly will help you grow by leaps and bounds; however, it is vital to keep true to yourself and if you love something- love it when shooting for yourself, even if the composition is undesirable. After launching my website and my social media pages, several people were shocked I was even doing photography. I did not talk much about it as it is something I hold close to my heart. It is my art and outside of a select few, I was not ready to obtain feedback that I was afraid would derail my drive. I obtained a few mentors and have my work critiqued often. I was fortunate enough to have gotten to know some local artists as well as a few from abroad. Knowledge is power, no matter how painful it can be to hear it!
Even though our clients may not necessarily know much about composition or lighting, they have a clear idea in their mind what they want their sessions and their experience to be. I work to get to know my clients, especially the little souls that I photograph. Getting down on their level and making them giggle will pull their personalities out so much more than asking them to stand there and say "Cheese!". There are two sides to being a professional photographer: shooting for yourself and shooting for your client. Merging the two will keep your clients coming back and ultimately how a photographer remains successful.
-Happy capturing! SL