Above: Image, Gina Milicia
Successful photographers don’t follow trends, they create them.
The best photographers in the world have a unique style that sets them apart from all the other photographers. They photograph subjects that they are passionate about and light, pose and edit in a style that is unique to them.
Photography is a visual conversation a photographer is sharing with the world. Copying other photographers or whatever style is hot on Instagram right now is like a musician that only plays covers in their sets. It doesn’t matter how much they sound or look like Adele, Beyonce, Prince, Elvis or Madonna – this style of music will only take them so far.
Many of the greatest artists in history start out by copying their idols. The reason they became successful leaders in their craft is because at some point their work no longer resembles anyone else’s. They develop a way to tell their unique story in a style that is meaningful to them.
Great photographers don’t take photos, they make them.
An awesome image is a combination of light, subject, composition and mood. Being in the right place at at right time involves a certain amount of luck, converting a gift like this from the photo Gods into a great image takes skill.
The world’s best photographers don’t just stumble upon their amazing images by chance. They research the location, study the light and work their butts off to make that great image happen.
The best photographers don’t need a reason to go out and shoot.
Passion is the driving force behind great photographers. To them the desire to create images is as important as breathing. Their desire to shoot is not fuelled by money, fame or Instagram likes.
If they are not taking pictures, they are thinking about their next image or editing their last image.
Great photographers love the craft – their passion oozes out of every pixel.
What are the bad habits you avoid to achieve success? I’d love to hear from you.
Need some inspiration? Check out the diverse styles of these masters of photography:
Elliott Erwitt is a true master of his craft. He captures the decisive moment with humour, intelligence and sensitivity. In this video presentation Erwitt shares a selection of his favourite images from the last 60 years.
And in this video Erwitt shares some fascinating insights behind his process.
Bruce Gilden is a street photographer best known for his up close and candid street portraits using flash. I have to admit watching him shoot in this video made me really uncomfortable. I’m not sure I could shoot as brazenly as he does but I do find his images intriguing. Check out the video and let me know what you think.
Way before Instagram made bloggers famous and #blessed a photographer named Cindy Sherman was using self-portraits as a form of artistic expression.
Cindy Sherman is best known for her Untitled film stills series where she created a collection of images that portray her as a variety of different characters in imaginary film roles.
In her most recent work Sherman mocks society’s fascination with wealth and celebrity and narcissism.
In this video Sherman discusses the thought process behind her French Vogue commission to create a fashion editorial featuring the clothes of the Spanish design house Balenciaga.