I recently was chatting with Lynnette Reeves from Only Imagine Photography. I love her point of view so much I asked her to guest blog for me. I hope you are as encouraged as I was after reading it!! Really what makes a good photographer? What a loaded question right? Really it is a question with a lot of different opinions behind it. So lets talk about it and see what we come up with, or I will let you know my thoughts. I want to say I respect and honor every photographer out there. This is a tough profession to be in, to be welcomed into, and to feel accomplished in.
A good photographer is not the everything photographer. If you are photographing weddings, engagements, seniors, families, children, parties, and newborns...you are the everything photographer. How can you be great if you are working your tail off to do it all? Find the one area you LOVE and be the BEST at it. Find a passion about one area and you will be GREAT in that area. When I made the decision that I loved newborns and that is what I wanted to be the best I could be at, it completely changed my photography business. When you are specialized clients will seek you out, and why wouldn’t they? You are are not the everything photographer, you are their newborn photographer that gives them images they will cherish for a lifetime. For the past 2 years I have only booked new newborns, the children and families I photograph I have photographed at some time before or I know them . I refer so many new clients that are not maternity or newborns to other photographers in my area that I have talked with about sending my referrals their way.
A good photographer is one who finds their inspiration, creativity, and ideas from within themselves. Not from another photographers blog. You have to have your own eye for creativity, your own way to find inspiration. Be unique, stand out, that will make you the photographer others will look for.
Lastly, be a photographer for a reason that drives you to give people images that they can look at and be in that moment, smell that newborn baby smell, laugh because the smile is so real. Do what you do because you love it for a deep down reason. I hear so many say “oh that looks fun, I’m going to start a photography business too” I think “wow” If you think something looks fun to you let it be a serious hobby for a few years. You are photographing a time that family can never have back. So lets say tomorrow the little boy you photographed yesterday was lost in a tragic accident......His Mommy will cherish what you have in your camera for the rest of her life. How did you do? Were most in or out of focus? Did you get his big smile? Did you capture “his personality” in the images? Photograph every session as though its the last memories you will give someone, because this life is short and you never know what tomorrow will bring. This is how I photograph every session for my clients, because I am that Mommy.
Find your area and be great at it, be the best at it, and give up your ego of having to do it all and refer to other photographers what you are not the best at. I promise your business will flourish, and other photographers will respect you for it. You can, will be, or already are a great photographer, just don’t ever give up on yourself.