The Inspirations: Don’t Fit In…

I’ve got a couple of inspirational images to share with you today (my favourite things to collect on Pinterest!) but with the same fundamental meaning behind them…

via This isn’t Happiness

The last one made me giggle!

Everyone reading this knows this don’t they? You all understand that the best way to get the clients you really connect with is to showcase yourself and what you, and no one else, can do. Then why, for the love of god, are we all still shooting/designing/editing the same way?

I’m all for trends (well I’m not, but I understand and accept them for what they are) but just as I said to the girls at my last School of Rock workshop, “just because you cut people’s heads off, doesn’t make you Emma Case…” (I’m of course talking about in photographs, not literally – ouch! – I don’t want to start rumours or anything…)

These days I’m getting more and more submissions from suppliers that I feel aren’t really that alternative/vintage/retro/quirky themselves, but they’re trying to produce alternative/vintage/retro/quirky work to attract clients that they perceive will be fun/will get them featured/will push their business forward in some way. And 99% of the time it’s really bloody obvious.

Is this a problem? I kinda think it is. Why don’t these people ignore what everyone else is doing and just focus on being themselves? In their own way they’re just as awesome as us crazy kids.

So I ask you, what have you done to be original lately?

17 comments

  1. YES. YES. + YES.

    hell – that’s what being an artist is, right? if you’re not producing >your< art – you're merely replicating another artist.

    it must be incredibly frustrating to live your creative life in another artists shadow.

  2. Very true. As we speak I’m working on my new ranges and I’m really bloody excited because they are coming so naturally to me, which I reckon can only be a good thing!

  3. Becky

    I’m always striving to be original in what I do. What I do isn’t necessarily an original concept but I’m putting my own spin on it and working so hard to stand apart and offer something different and unique. I would hate to be the one who lived in the shadows of someone else hard work and creativity. Great post Kat – as per!

  4. Thanks to you I realised at school of rock that I was one of these people… I was trying so hard to make the business work I was/am part of this vintage trend. I love vintage cloths etc and I do love vintage but totally agree its WELL over used! I have always wanted to be different in myself and my styling yet I find myself conforming to this trend…. But not any more… I will be myself in myself and my business and I will stand out from the crowd like I always have!! School of rock really has put my business on the track it needed! Thank you!

  5. So true. I’ve recently been trying to re-brand a little and push my wedding business. I discovered twitter, and all the great suppliers out there and this amazing world that I didn’t even know existed. And I thought, I want to be like that. And everything I looked at, I thought I want to be like that and do that work. And I got obsessed. With other peoples pictures and their style and what they offer and how they write on their blog. And I obsessed some more….. and I lost myself.

    I have been a photographer for quite a while, making a living, being paid by magazines to photograph people because they like my style and the way I do things. So why was i worrying suddenly about changing what i do to fit into my new view of this industry? After some more obsessing and ultimately lots of time wasting and getting to a place where I thought there was no point and i might as well give up, I realised I was basically being an idiot. I love taking photos and I’m pretty good at it. Not as good as others, better than some, but it’s all objective and you can’t please everyone. I realised the way to build my business was not to fit in and to copy. It was to do what I think is nice, take a nice picture. Do what I do and do what the couple want and most importantly be ME! So I’m trying. I’m still looking, but I’m trusting myself too and that’s a pretty nice feeling.

  6. Aaron Tommasi Photography

    I love this post. I am also an alumni of “School of Rock” (we should have our own badge you know :-)). And the main thing I took from the session was to be myself. I am currently designing a new website (please don’t look at my current site, it is not me) that reflects my personality and approach to life. And recently wrote the content for the site. And for once found it to be incredible simple as I was just myself and wrote it as such. After all they was no point in pretending to be something I’m not. I am original and unique as we all are. And capturing whom we are in words is simpler when we stop trying to be something we are not. Your client will find out who you are eventually anyway. With regard to images now I believe it is okay to be inspired by other photographers, I am, I love Emma Case amongst others and have had the pleasure of meeting her at SOR and lending her a lense (there is a claim to fame) but there is a clear difference between inspiration and just copying. Be honest to who you are and if you make it or not then you at least have the knowledge that you did it your way. Look at me with my words of wisdom

  7. Also, recently starting to be more myself instead of doing what everyone else wants… I just finished an epic Seven Deadly Sins concept and also a Marie Antoinette styled bridal shoot (black wedding dress, bloody cake and neck stitches!)…. I get fewer clients but the ones I do get are amazing and get my vision… Im having a lot more fun now!

  8. Well said post, and well said Rebecca. Its taking me a few years but I finally photograph the way I like to photograph and be photographed. My clients are a wonderful mix of those with quirky weddings to those with traditional weddings but what they have in common is they want relaxed photography with elements of creativity and quirkiness. I now know what my niche is but having said that it takes a while to get the balls to say ‘if you don’t like my style move on’ (and I don’t work from bloody lists), especially when just starting out and cash flow is an issue :-)

    I get asked all the time if I shoot vintage, I wish I knew what that meant lol

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