As a photographer, you find that inspiration in this industry is a very important thing. Without it, you’re left floundering for air. Without it, you are nothing. Without it, your work SAYS nothing. Inspiration is so important to find in so many different ways. Find inspiration through your environment, your surroundings. Simple things like the wind, the sun & light, nature. More complex things, like buildings, advertising & movies. The obvious things, other photographers you admire, books, magazines, your subject(s). Inspiration is what sets you apart from the competition.
Inspiration is my driving force. There are a lot of people and books who will tell you to stay away from the work of your competition. Don’t compare yourself. I disagree on this one point, probably more than I disagree with anything anyone has ever said in the Photography industry. Of course, to each their own…we’re all different and I definitely do not believe that there are some people who shouldn’t compare themselves because it won’t be good for them to do so…but as a whole for myself, I find it so important to look at other photographer’s work and compare myself. I’m not perfect, and by no means am I trying to be that other photographer or even turn my work into theirs, but it’s important to know what my fellow photographers are doing. Draw inspiration from them, and learn from them. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pull up a fellow photographer’s work and amaze myself, and be HUMBLED. The work that photographer’s put out there is incredible. The sheer talent, ingenuity, and dedication to this industry gets me every single time. Photographers are a passionate group of people. Passionate about YOU, passionate about getting it right, and getting it right every time. Passionate about making every session they do, better than the last. Passionate about learning something new from one day to the next. Every day, I hope that my passion for this industry is apparent to everyone I touch through this business.
My passion for this industry has brought me from a Canon Rebel XT and a kit lens to a Canon 5D and a variety of lenses, but taught me in the very beginning that I could take incredible pictures with my XT. Pictures that to this day are some of my absolute favorites, and have drawn recognition from top photographers in the field. Damien Lovegrove gave huge recognition to the following photograph through Framed TV Show. It was the first photograph of mine that received such an honor and truly pushed me to become more and to bring myself and my business to the next level.
It may seem like this is a simple photograph, but there is so much going on here. The minimal background that still draws interest to the viewer. The curves and lines of the stairs in the background delicately directing your eyes and the slow, direct gaze from the subject. Add the soft lighting and this was one of my all time favorite images long before Damien Lovegrove, and it was shot using my Canon XT. Damien Lovegrove just made my love for this image that much more with his kind words and recognition.
So, where do I draw my inspiration from? So many places! I read magazines galore, books galore. We have so many photography related books, it truly is insane. I draw inspiration from Flickr, Pinterest, 500px, movies, commercials, fashion, and other photographers. I would be lying if I said that my largest source of inspiration wasn’t other photographers. It truly is my largest source of inspiration and my favorite way to get visual inspiration. I definitely have my favorites. Who are they? Well, that brings me to my main reason for this blog post this afternoon. My biggest source of inspiration comes from Howie McCormick, a West Virginia based portrait photographer who takes this industry to a whole new level. Howie has an eye for photography, and an eye for bringing his subjects to life in the camera. We’re very similar in the fact that I am not a big fan of still, posed photos. Every session I do highlights some sort of movement, only Howie takes that to a whole new level that I am slowly trying to move toward. Howie and I also share the side of the business that I think is the most important. Truly getting to KNOW your clients. Who are they? What do they love, what makes them tick? What are they passionate about, what brings them to LIFE. When you capture a photograph, you’re capturing a moment in time, and this is the one thing that I take most seriously in my work. Many photographers take the glass they shoot with, the camera they shoot with, their location, competition, their personal vision the most seriously. For me, it’s simple. Find the person in front of your camera and you’ve done your job. It’s not always about smiles, even though I try my best to capture those too. What’s most important to me though, is the emotion in front of my camera and the dynamic that my subjects bring to the table. Howie McCormick knows how to bring this to life and highlight who is subjects truly are. For this reason, he is quickly becoming my go-to source for inspiration and I really wanted to share his work with you today. You can find Howie here: Howie McCormick Photography, you can also find Howie on Facebook for all of his up to date and current photography endeavors. Let me know if you take a look and what you think!