Lately I’ve had a few chats with some other photographers I know about this topic, so I thought I’d jot down a few notes on my experience with my own inspiration, and how I currently approach the whole idea.
When I first came around to the idea of doing wedding photography, my initial inspiration was Jasmine Star. (pictured below) She has an awesome online presence, and made weddings sound fun to me. Her ideas on marketing, self-promotion, and a go-giving attitude towards photography are spot-on, and I can’t think of anyone who does a better job at all those things at once. I took a workshop with Jasmine Star earlier this year, and while I feel it was the most pivotal weekend of my work-related life, the ironic thing was that I realized her style wasn’t what I wanted out of my own photography.
Along-side Jasmine, one of my main initial inspirations was (and still is) Jay Reilly. I love the variety in his work, and he does an awesome job on capturing that “so-cal” vibe in all his shots. Really talented at telling the story when it comes to ‘lifestyle’. I’ve worked with Jay a few times in the past, and not only is he a great photog, but a really cool guy as well. Maintains a laid back approach towards things, but still manages to stay on top of his game and produce some stellar stuff for his clients.
On another note, one of my favorite photographers to keep in touch with is Bobby Earle. While his style is quite a bit different from mine, I really respect the genuine approach he has in regards to his attitude towards the wedding industry. Solid guy, through and through. While I feel a majority of the wedding industry is a bit on the feminine side, Bobby keeps things real and isn’t ashamed to talk about South Park, skateboarding, and Jujitsu. Having a guy’s perspective on things is a nice balance when being surrounded by a strong presence of feminine energy. (And I’m willing to bet his brides recognize & appreciate that about him) *And not to mention his “Photo Trips” – I can’t help not to like the guy because of these – seems to have had as much of a travel bug as myself!
Another person I get inspiration from is Priscilla Gragg. Her fun, positive, and up-beat attitude shines through her work, branding, and blogging – and I think it’s awesome. She does a great job of showcasing her branding & attitude with each blog post, composition, colors, and post-processing she does with her work.
While I’m on the whole “attitude” tangent, I think it’s important I mention a couple other guys on this post. While they’re not photographers, they’ve definitely inspired me in a way of thinking which affects my approach towards work ethic. Bruce Lee & Michael Jordan. With Bruce, his ideas about “taking what works for you, and discarding the rest” is right on. Looking back on my path in photography, I can’t stress how important it is to understand “you” as the main ingredient to your brand, and not try to build up an imposter photography business. I’ll admit it – for awhile, I thought I needed my work to look like Jasmine’s in order to get the demographic I want. Now that I know I don’t, (and that I don’t want her demographic) I can see my direction crystal clear and understand what I need to do to attract my ideal client. In the next few months, you guys will be seeing a new portfolio, new shoots, and an original outlook towards my approach at weddings & couples.
Now we can’t forget Michael Jordan. I think I’m including him in here because I feel it would be wrong not to. His persistence, drive, and determination are unlike anything I’ve seen in pro-sports. (Go watch the Bulls-Blazers NBA playoff series in the early 90′s to understand what I mean) The guy was an incredible leader, and understood what needed to be done to get the win. And knew how to manage his team. None of the players in the game are doing that right now, and I don’t see anyone coming close to what this guy achieved in the near future. I love Kobe, but he’ll never be as good as Jordan, and it’s not even an argument. So don’t even try.
PS – Another recent inspiration – more like a spark to start the fire – was Promise Tangeman of SiteHouse design. Awesome girl (was bummed to hear she was married) and an amazing talent at branding/concepts. Her talk at the recent PASS presentation really helped clarify what I wanted to pinpoint when it came to identifying key characteristics of my brand & ideal client.
PPS – If you might have noticed, I didn’t mention any magazines, collective blogs, or pinterest. I’ve never felt ‘moved’ by any of that sort of stuff, but I’m interested to hear what works for you! What gets you going – what motivates YOU to get off the couch and get things going, or to make the effort for a certain shoot? And do you have any fun shoots planned to showcase your brand?
Needless to say, I’m excited for things to come. Can’t help but feeling a little *inspired* today.