Let Your Voice Find You
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems as if the pressure for one to “find their voice” is at an all-time high. Everyone is on an intense quest to define themselves as a photographer with a very short time limit. And by “very short”, I mean right now.
To be completely honest, I’ve never really been concerned with my voice as a photographer. I’ve never focused on if I have one or not, but I do know that the feedback I receive on my photography tends to convey the overall vibe I want my work to have. And that’s good enough for me.
I think by not focusing on searching for my voice, it inadvertently found me. Here are 3 tips to help you on your photography journey to let go of some of that pressure and allow your voice to find you:
1. Shoot what you love, and shoot lots of it
There’s no better way to feel like you can’t find yourself than to shoot what you’re not interested in or what you downright dread shooting. For me, that’s families. I don’t enjoy it and I’ve told several people no because of this. However, I do enjoy shooting couples, maternity, and flatlays - so I try to shoot a lot of that.
If you find you don’t like a particular genre, don’t force it on yourself. Move on.
There’s so many things to photograph in this world; don’t put yourself in a box.
2. Edit by following your heart
When I first started taking photography more seriously and editing in photoshop, I would do very matte edits that I attempted to make bright and airy. That’s what I saw other people doing so I automatically assumed that’s what my photography should look like. But now looking back I realize that style doesn’t even feel like me. There are people who edit with a matte style and it’s absolutely gorgeous, but it’s just not me.
We all have inspirational photogs we admire, but try not to focus on emulating someone else’s style. It’s easy to get caught up in what you believe you lack compared to their work when you operate in that space.
Focus on editing in a way that speaks TO YOU and OF YOU naturally.
Realize that as you progress and learn new techniques, you’ll come into your own and discover your style that’s unique to you.
3. Don’t rush the process or compare yourself to others
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. If you ignore everything else, remember this. We are all on our own separate journeys. You can’t compare yours to someone else’s because you can’t see all the obstacles they’ve had to overcome to reach where they are, and vice versa.
Enjoy where you are at in this moment and realize you’re exactly where you should be in your photography journey. And next year, you’ll be exactly where you’re supposed to be on your journey. It’s awesome to aspire for more, but it’s unfair to your current progress to belittle the work you’ve already done to reach where you are at this moment.
Embrace your work because it’s yours. It’s YOUR viewpoint and nobody else can offer that.
Although your work may not be exactly where you want it to be quite yet, it’s yours and that makes it unique. And that’s to be celebrated.
3 Ways to let your voice find you
1. Don't force it. Shoot more of what moves you and leave the rest.
2. Edit in a way that's true to you.
3. Don't play the comparison game.
Love yourself. Love your journey. Let some of that pressure out and enjoy where you are. Before you know it, your voice will find you.
Have you been struggling with finding your artistic voice? How have you been working to overcome it? Share your experience below.