Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Change your Photography Style & Create a New Portfolio

Q: Should I be afraid of changing my photography style? I'm tired of shooting the same thing over and over. I want to try something new but I'm afraid of how this will affect my business. Will it confuse clients? Do I have to build a whole new portfolio? 

Definitely not. Well, on second thought, I guess we really don't have much control over what we're afraid of, BUT we do have control over how we react to our fear, right? As artists, our style is always changing. Sometimes we take matters into our own hands and we make this change happened faster or we control where we want it to go. Whether you work with clients or just enjoy photography as a hobby, I think you should always be pushing the limits of your skills and searching for fresh ideas — doing both of these things will change your style (probably in a good way) whether you like it or not. As long as you're creating, you're growing. The more you create, the more you grow. With quantity, comes quality.

The only thing you have to look out for is if your clients are hiring you for a particular style that you have promised them through the images they’ve advertised on your website or blog. They are expecting a certain product from you and you need to deliver that. If you’re not loving your current “image” (the style you’re being hired to shoot), you need to do some underground revolution work! Shoot with models on the weekend and create a new, updated portfolio that represents your new style. Slowly integrate these new photos onto your blog, let people know you’re headed in a new direction, and eventually completely overhaul your website portfolio.

Just in the first two years of my business I’ve watched 3 or 4 major styles waves come and go (in my own work and the work of my photography friends). Each time I was nervous about how it would affect things but each time I felt so happy when I let my creativity run free and I could look back and see how I was evolving. I say "feel the fear and do it anyways - go for it and watch what happens”!

Here's a little look at how my style has changed over the past 2 years.
August 2011: My first photo shoot I ever organized. It was at Promenade Beach in Edinburgh. Check it out here.
October 2012: This was the first photo shoot I did in Seattle. I photographed my brother's girlfriend in my parent's living room. Check it out here.
October 2012 (2nd collage): This was one of the last photo shoots I did in Scotland. I was shooting with my friend Rhiannon. Check it out here. 
October 2013: This is my most recent photo shoot on a beach in South Maui, Hawaii. Check it out here 

What do you think? Are you going through a change of style right now?
Have you seen your photography style go through changes? Any advice for other readers?