From your heart

We are often asked by newbie photographers wanting to break into the wedding market, “What can I do to set myself apart from the competition?” The answer we often give, is to find what is unique about you and bring that to the forefront of everything you do. I’ll be the first to admit this is a simple response to a complex problem. With there being so many wedding photographers out there now, it has become extremely difficult to stand out from the crowd. Another problem is that we as photographers have such ready access to each others’ photos via websites and blogs – it’s really easy to become overly influenced either subconsciously or not to your competition’s style. Before we know it, everyone’s images start to look quite a bit alike.

So how do create a body of work that is instantly identifiable as your own? For starters, be honest about what your strengths truly are. Are you particularly gifted at posing? If so, showcase that in your albums and website. Leave out the candids, if they are not your strong suit. Resist the urge to be all things to all people.

Larry and I have built a very nice business based on this principal. We have always been able to capture images that elicit laughter or tears from our clients. This ability did not come about from analyzing other photographer’s photos or forcing a photographic impulse that didn’t occur naturally. It is simply what we do best and we make sure to showcase that ability at every opportunity.

I know it can be difficult to be objective about your own strengths and weaknesses but only you know when you are “shooting from your head” instead of “from your heart.” When you catch yourself trying to copy that image you saw on the last website you looked at, make yourself break free and come up with something else, something from the moment in front of you that is uniquely you.

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