Text and photos: Sandra Roussy
Leaving your mark as a photographer doesn’t always mean showing a strikingly perfect, technically spot-on photograph. It is said that it is not the equipment nor the gear that makes good photographers, but rather how photographers shoot and communicate their images. Of course, we all crave the latest, fastest camera and gear, but in fact, we can leave our mark without even using our camera. Some personal growth and insights can make you stand out as a photographer with a unique and individual style.
People Skills/Be Social
When photographing a person for an individual portrait session or folks for a group event, having a way with people will almost always show in your final photos. Making people comfortable and putting them at ease before you point your camera at them can have a great impact on your overall photography skills. If possible, try to have a conversation before picking up your camera in order to get a feeling for the person that you are about to shoot. They will remember you as being friendly and the trust that they developed in you will show in the photos.
Social media is a great stage for exposing your work and getting recognition for your skill set. You can get noticed and market your talent, maybe even land some interesting contracts. Create a brand identity and try to stand out in the crowd of other photographers.
Find Creativity Everywhere/Look at things differently/ Expand Your Art Knowledge
When we see the world in a plain way, our photos will look plain as well. Without even thinking photo opportunity, start looking at the things around you in unusual and unique ways. You see a mountain of apples at the grocery store as a mountain of apples for sale or a textured and colourful sculpture? Opening your mind and eyes to a variety of opportunities will have a definite impact on your work as a photographer.
Photography is an art and art is ever expanding and diverse. Being curious about other forms of art can only increase your creativity and inspiration. Going to museums or galleries can help provide vision for your own art. You will notice that opening your mind will also expose your individual style as a photographer.
Become an Expert in a Specialty Field
You probably have a topic or area that you prefer to photograph over others. If you study and practise this area of photography and do it a lot, chances are that you will become an expert in this field. This way, you will be known for a specific type of photography and get hired to do it.
Can’t stress this one enough. All art is created or broken by light. Photography is especially vulnerable to light, either ambient or created. Study the sun movements throughout the day, even when you are not shooting. Observe how it moves and what shadows and highlights are being created with the movement throughout the day. You don’t have to stick to the usual times of day that are considered the perfect shooting times, think outside this mind-set and test your creative vision.
Share Your Skills
Teaching is, of course, a great way to help others, but it is also a fabulous way to validate your skills and share your knowledge and ideas with others that are in the learning process. We are always in a learning curve when it comes to photography, but there are always people who are eager to learn what we already know and you can leave an impressionable impact on them.
Conferences are also a great way to showcase your talent and get recognized. If you traveled to a unique destination and have a story to tell, you can share your experience in schools, TED Talks and other places to gain visibility and standing.
You can make an impact as a photographer in many different ways. Leaving your mark means having an effect on something or someone that changes their lasting perception of you and of your work.