Monday, October 29, 2007

You know that feeling where you doubt yourself? Second-guess things? Especially in the creative department? Well.... For all the "professional" photos I post, I frequently have to step back and really LOOK at what I am posting. And then go look at the REAL talented photographers. And then go back and reevaluate what I think is "good".
So sure, I can probably snap a shot better than the average person. But that does NOT make me professional. And I am well aware of that, and tell clients that I am an "amateur professional". But darn it... what can I do more? How can MY pictures (see below) get to the level of THESE GIRLS? (click on ANY of them to be amazed):

Katie Jinky Tara Carrie Allison Amy

And then me. Good stuff. Cute clients. But the terrible existential quandry of -- HOW DO I FINISH THEM? What can I do at the outset to make them better?

{Here is Kirsti. My amazing 16-year-old sis. First version is basic. Second is deeper, warmer color. Third is punchy, vibrant color. Cover two with your hand and only look at one at a time. Which one?}

{here are two darling girls I snapped yesterday. Ever-so-slight differences here, but I used two totally different processes. Which one?}

{again with the basic/mild punch/strong n' vibrant. Which works and why?}

{Last ones.... Also VERY subtle, but both were processed completely different. Which one, if either, stands out?}

And the big question: what is or should be my style? I am, by nature, bright, colorful, a bit over-the-top as a person. I like whimsy, humor, youth, and clean lines. So is my contrasty, bright thing here okay?

Because I REALLY admire and am jealous of the subtle, warm, elegant, mature photographs that I see in the likes of my bessie Katie. The more subdued tones and clean light of Amy and Allison (see above). And because of this envy, I want to learn more about how to shoot like them.

But maybe I'm "doomed" to be who I already am, and I should just go with it. And maybe I am being lazy. Or over-analytical. Been know to be that for sure.

Anyhoo. Truly, this post is mostly for me. Sorry to put y'all through it. I just REALLY have this on my mind right now. I wonder, who am I kidding? And so I am rollin' though this slump... Thinking it through.

Feel free to contribute opinions, and don't just say, "cute photos! Stop worrying!" 'Cause I'll worry anyway. It's just that kind of mood.


  1. middle, right, middle, right. More detail in the faces. But, very subtle for sure. I have to tell you that old-time photographers had the same conundrum because the longer you left a photo in the developing fluid, the darker it became. So, even then, the snap of the shutter was just the beginning. And who said photography wasn't fine art?

  2. Emily... this struggle is a good thing, I go through my "battle" if you will, more now then ever.

    A correct exposure is key in photography, everything else after that is your call, your design, your "look". Make it yours and OWN it. So if you're into "punchy" colors, then that may be the beginning of what's to come. People will start to hire you for that, because that's YOUR signature look.
    My personal style and post processing is not like the photographers I admire the most, and really it can't be or I'm not my own artist, I'm them.
    I hear you on the struggle though, but you know with every struggle comes greater things. I think your stuff is fantastic!

  3. I like --middle, right, bottom, left. I think I like a lot of contrast but not to the point it looks grainy. I do love your style, always have. In fact, how would you feel about taking some family pics of us sometime?

  4. middle, right, bottom, right. I love your pictures and wish that I could be as creative as you!! I have to struggle just to get some interesting writing out every once in a blue moon. I wish you and me had time in our lives for you to be my Yoda of creativity and teach me all you know.

  5. My favorites--middle, right, bottom, left. I think you are amazing and I can see a lot of you in your work. I agree w/ Kate...if you start tweaking your style to match others, I think you lose the "you" and start becoming "them"...which can be cool for figuring out just how they "do it" and "make it all work", but you are great at what you do. I love your work. It's so vibrant and colorful, and I don't think you should change a thing. You are an amazing artist and the great thing is that with time, we all become even better at things we're already masters at. You should rest assure that the amateur in you is no longer are strictly professional to me, and to everyone who views your work! Simply amazing, Emily!

  6. middle-right-bottom-left. I seem to be in the majority with that. I just don't think you give yourself enough credit... Those 'mature' photos you see, those are how others view something. That is what they see and want to capture, and you appreciate it because it is different from yours. But your style it is brighter and more uniquely colored and quirky, because thats how you see the world. And I don't think you realize how people may envy you for that. If exploring different techniques will make you feel like a more well-rounded photographer, then learn it all. But I have a feeling you already know deep down that your photography reflects your perception of the world and I know you love that part of yourself. It's defiantly something to take pride in.


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