There are many times on a wedding day where the easy thing to do would be to copy another photographer. Maybe you’re stressed and can’t think of another pose during couple portraits. Or maybe you’re just in love with someone’s work (I’m looking at you, Jose Villa). Yes, we all know what it’s like to be inspired by someone’s work and we want to evoke that same emotion in our own photographs. So how do we keep from copying? How do we enjoy the work of others without letting it affect our own creative vision? Today I am sharing 7 ways to help you choose creativity over copying.
1. Photograph emotion, not poses
I am inspired by real emotion and when I was first starting out, I was convinced that I needed to copy Jasmine Star’s posing in order to get that emotion. I have since learned that it’s not the pose that brings out the emotion, it’s the photographer. So go ahead and let emotion inspire you. Feel whatever the artist intended you to feel and then go out and make others feel too.
2. See the work of others as art, not as a list of ideas
Be inspired, be inspired. Goodness, that’s what I want with this blog! So hear me when I tell you that you don’t need to follow other photographers to create a shot list. See their work as art and let it inspire you because they see things differently. And then go see things the way that only you can. Because we need more of the way you see things.
3. Bring in organic elements
If you feel like you’re in a jam in the middle of a shoot, bring in elements. What flower can the little boy bring to his mom? What organic prop can you add to the shoot? Instead of defaulting to what you have seen before, give yourself time to really see what’s around you.
4. Consider what hasn’t been done before
I love thinking about all the ways something has been done before and going a different direction. Try stacking the invitation suite or having the mother of the bride hold the veil. Do something that no one else is doing and do it with heart.
5. Shoot authentically
When you are photographing a couple, don’t just move them into the same pose that you do for every other couple. Watch how they interact and don’t be specific about what you want them to do.
For example, avoid asking them to put their left hand here and their right hand here. Instead, ask them to hold each other. I love doing this when I am photographing couples because each person responds differently to what I am asking. This is the beginning of posing people in authentic ways.
6. Keep Learning
I am more creative when I am learning and I don’t think I’m the only one. Listen to podcasts, go to workshops, and read books! The reward for learning is inspiration and creativity!
7. Learn from people outside our industry
Go to a floral workshop and learn calligraphy! Soak up business advice from brilliant minds (Michael Hyatt and Jeff Goins are great starting places)! You should never stop learning and you should always be learning from people who aren’t in your industry.
Now go let your creativity fuel your business and leave any copying behind! You can do this! It can be so easy to think that you have to run your business just like everyone else in order to succeed. Instead, go show us all how we should be running our businesses!!