I'm not really into making New Year resolutions, but as 2014 turned to 2015, I couldn't help but think about what I wanted to achieve in the coming year. One of my most pressing aims was to continue to develop my 'voice.' It sounds arty farty and a bit like messing around when I could be doing concrete business related activities to help me book more weddings or portrait sessions, but I think that it is vital.
If anything is going to help me be successful in business it is to have a clear and unique artistic vision, something that will set me apart from other photographers and make people want to book me rather than someone else. The only way to cement my vision is to take more photographs. Lots more photographs. In different genres, of different subjects and involving different people. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone because it's only then that I will learn something new.
One of the things that I have struggled with in turning from an amateur photographer into a professional photographer is that previously, going out with my camera was a form of relaxation, a treat I could give myself after I had finished my paid work. I realised that I had taken this attitude on into my paid photography work and that I wasn't spending enough time behind the camera because I always equated shooting with 'fun' not work. Now I know that I have to practise my art, hone my skills and push my limits.
To that end, and to help structure my photography, I am embarking upon a series of projects over the course of the year. The first of these will be on street photography.
I love looking at street photographs. They are urban, edgy and very different from what I normally photograph. Street photography can encompass photo journalism, architecture, portraits and a myriad of other sub genres, so I know that hitting the highways and byways of Newcastle will challenge me in so many ways. It will force me to get to know my camera and lenses better. It will force me to get out there and interact with people I have never met before. It will make me process my images differently. For instance I love the high contrast, black and white processing which is a tradition of the genre. Most importantly it will encourage me to look at things differently.
I hope that all of these things will then feed back into my wedding and portrait photography.
Here are my first batch of photographs.