How I Found My Aesthetic
If you guys have been following me on Instagram lately, I've been completely swamped with a 3 day shoot for a campaign with my friends at Zungle Inc!
It's hard for me not to go completely radio silent when I get super swamped with work, but I always love hearing from you guys. In my Insta live session yesterday, someone asked me how I got my aesthetic, and I wish I could have talked a little bit more about it ... so here we are.
I always find it a little funny when someone asks me that question, because I still don't think I've found my aesthetic yet.
But I guess you're your hardest critique and it's easier for someone else to look at your work and see it as a whole. I also feel like my photography has changed a lot in the past year, but there are certain things I always gravitate towards - shadows for the high contrast quality, crisp whites, and clean sharp lines. But rome wasn't built in a day, so here are 3 things I stuck to when it comes to creating my photography aesthetic:
1. Don't compare.
I never looked at other photographer's work when I first started photography. I looked at my favorites like Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Tim Walker, Ansel Adams etc, but when it came to my peers, I was never curious. I looked to other things for inspiration, like reading and painting.
If you only look at other's photographer's work and try to emulate their style, you'll never find your own style. You'd always be a step behind someone else, and what's the fun in that? Do your own thing and rock it, which brings me to my next point!
2. Do what you like
This may sound obvious, but I think it is so easy for photographers to get lost in what the "industry standard" is and create work that is just like everyone else's.
For example, the whole shadows thing was totally new for me a few years ago. Before that, all my photos was soft and airy because of my wedding background. One day I just liked how the light was coming in from the window and decided to experiment with products shot in shadow. (And eventually people.) But I liked the shadows so much that I just ran with it. And now it's become a recognized style. (Whaaaaat.)
And in my latest work, I've been obsessed with pink and #40daysofrosy (read what is ROSY) that I'm totally running with it and have completely adopted a pink Instagram feed. Aesthetic is partially dedication and obsession folks.
3. Shoot every day
If there are 365 days in the year, I think I've shot at least 200 of those days in the past 5 years. My full-time job has always been photography, so I shot every day, whether I liked it or not.
Rome wasn't built in a day and an aesthetic isn't define in a day. It isn't even define in a year. But the more practice you put into it, the better you get. And unfortunately, photography is one of those things where you can't get better if you don't shoot every day.
Hope that helps! Share with me in the comments what else you'd like for me to answer in the next Q&A session!