One of my assistants made a comment the other day that reminded me of how I used to struggle with imagery for my portfolio. It took me way too many years to figure out something that seems like it should be so amazingly obvious. But because we are more often than not way to close to our own work, I couldn’t see it.
Plain and Simple?
SHOOT WHAT YOU LOVE!!!
In the early half of my career I was obsessed with shooting what I thought people wanted to see in my portfolio, rather than what inspired me. I tried to be all things to all people and anticipate any and every possible scenario. AND… I didn’t get very far.
One day while having a conversation with a colleague, she mentioned how her book was all fashion and portrait and that she was getting all of this product work from agencies. At that moment the light bulb went on and I realized that much of the work I was getting was not representative of what was in my portfolios….
With that realization I thought why am I shooting all of this stuff that really doesn’t interest me, only to have people hire me for completely non-related projects? So I started shooting what I wanted to shoot and what I thought was interesting. And the jobs came. Slowly, but they came. And I came to realize that regardless of how hard you work or how much you try, your passion (or lack thereof) comes through in your imagery. And if people don’t see it, they are not going to hire you. And when you shoot what you are passionate about, folks will see it in your work and will be drawn to it and those of like mind (which are the ONLY people you want to work for ANYWAY) will hire you!
I have confirmed this over and over and have talked with so many others who experience the same. So the moral of the story is simple. Do what you love, and they will come!