January 2022

EXPLORE AND EXPERIMENT

Often, fellow creatives inquire as to my secret for developing as a studio photographer so quickly. From the outside looking in, my growth seemed exponential, and my rise meteoric. The stark reality is that there’s no secret or magic formula. I spent nearly every free moment in whatever space was available to me, experimenting with techniques, aesthetics, and styles, exploring every light source and modifier I could get my hands on. I was, and still am, very much obsessed with expanding my artistic repertoire. There is no substitute for the act of creating. All of the most impressive techniques are little more than theory without steadfast application. Any art form demands that the artist make art. To some extent, it really is as simple as that. If you usually use strobes, challenge yourself to use natural light or constant light, or vice versa. If you never tried your hand at gels, add some color to your scenes. Unfortunately, there’s an unhealthy obsession with clinical sharpness and perfect clarity in our medium. So instead, explore what blur and slow shutter speeds have to offer. Play with mixing light sources and integrating a strobe with shutter-drag. Look beyond photography for inspiration, to sources like painting, sculpture, cinema and the like. The idea is to get outside of your comfort zone and explore your boundaries as often as possible. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on learning a specific aesthetic, such as painterly light, but don’t limit yourself to that particular manner of creating. In the process of exploring and experimenting, you’ll begin to organically and fundamentally understand how to use whatever is at hand to construct your vision. In the process of doing so, your confidence will skyrocket in knowing that you can create incredible work for yourself and your clients, regardless of what is or is not available to you. Additionally, through and by this ongoing process, your voice and style will begin to emerge and become more refined and defined with time.

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