04 | Looking at other Photographers | Reference Imagery

posted in Photography Business Journal

04 | Looking at other Photographers | Reference Imagery

Other Photographers Work

It’s amazing how many wannabe photographers I meet – especially online and in forums – that are truly self depreciating. Websites like Digital Photography School are full of these types. So many photographers, especially those starting out look at the work of others and drool. They convince themselves that they will never be able to shoot like that. Even worse, many of them don’t understand why they can’t shoot like that already; acting as if photography is a skill you are born with and not something that takes years of practice.There is this idea that photography is easy and anyone with a fancy DSLR can do it. Across the country anyone with a fancy camera thinks they are a photographer or even a professional photographer. It just seems like nobody wants to work for the shots they see. Immediately, they just want to know the camera settings and the lighting setup and think they should be able to go replicate it easily.

It’s Simply Not That Simple

I follow a handful of photographers. No matter how good I become at taking pictures, there are always going to be other photographers that will inspire me to be better. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a better photographer. In fact, personally, it helps me hone my skills and try new things. So, who do I look at. There are so many photographers out there whose work I admire, but I try not to fall in love with the photographer doing work that doesn’t apply to me. If you’re a wedding photographer and all you lust about shooting is glamour or fashion, then maybe you are in the wrong field. I really like the drama of Vincent Peters, the playfulness of The Wade Brothers, landscapes of Michael Kenna, the colors of Ben Morris and the list goes on and on. There are a lot of photographers that might blur the line between wedding and high fashion. Great! Those are the photographers I love to watch. I want my brides to feel like they belong in a magazine. The work of Lara Jade, Emily Soto, and Lou Freeman.  However, these photographers are not shooting weddings so I try not to compare their portfolio to mine in a direct way. Otherwise I become one of those droll wannabe photographers wishing and whining.

With that said, one of my favorite wedding photographers is Erik Clausen. He shoots weddings full time, as a beautiful family, posts weddings, engagements and plenty of personal work. This is aligned with where my life is going. I recently married my beautiful wife and we are shooting more and more. Erik has a website and style and appears to have a photography practice that is aligned with where Pabst Photo is headed.

Posing Ideas

Another reason many photographers, self included, look at the work of our peers if for posing ideas. Most photographers don’t like posing; at least they don’t like it when they are first starting out. It is intimidating and your clients are looking to you for direction – all the while you are just trying to take good pictures, survey the background, operate your camera and so forth. Posing is a difficult thing for a photographer to master because they can’t even start to master posing until they’ve mastered their camera.

Read more from my Photography Business Journal

3 comments

  1. Becoming a photographer is not that easy since you must have the proper training for you to have stunning images.

  2. Your article has pushed me to try harder to improve my skills, I know my photography is mediocre at best. And I’ve noticed that society has given people the idea that photography is easy. Good article and congratulations on your wedding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *