Saturday, October 11, 2008

I gotta be ME!

I think there's two schools of thought when it comes to running a creative business. You can create a product that will be safe and appeal to the widest range of people. As a result you'll likely get more volume and maybe have broader appeal. But if you have a vision, a style, a distinct way that you need to practice your craft then you take certain risks. You may not appeal to the widest range of consumers. The stronger your personality in your work the less likely you're going to appeal to "most" people. Kind of like regular old personal interaction. But if you stay true to your vision, your way of doing things, and find clients who connect with your style and your work then you're forever liberated to produce from your gut, and heart. I believe, this kind of work stands above the masses. It's distinct and full of something unexpected.

This is the way I've always worked as a photographer whether it was taking my first pictures of friends in college or during my days as a newspaper photojournalist or taking pictures of my new born son or at the weddings I document. As a newspaper photographer, more traditional folks -- those taught that newspaper pictures were supposed to look a certain way -- would ask me if I could take a "normal picture." As if my pictures were somehow not normal. They were always normal to me, I just didn't worry about "rules" and just worked from my point of view. I learned this lesson early in my career from one of the Zen masters of the newspaper photography world. While at a conference looking for my first job in 1995, Brian Moss succinctly taught me to be myself in my work and not worry about filling preconceived categories or holes. That message has been the guiding force in my career, good and bad. But I've been fortunate enough to work for people who also believe in and connect with what I bring to my photographs.

This clearly falls into the shameless category but when clients send messages like the following, I just can't help but want to shout it from the rooftops. It shows, to me, a perfect match of client and photographer. It's not unusual, :)))), for me to get messages like this but this one did such a great job of getting to the heart of what I hope to accomplish with my work.

The pictures are amazing. You truly captured the essence of our wedding. When we watch the slide show, the emotions start all over again. It was the most exciting, joyous, beautiful, and special day for us. Words that family and friends have used to describe our pictures are "Stunning!", "WOW!", " It (the slide show) made me cry!""You guys look like movie stars!" and "You both looked like you were having so much fun!" We love that people can get that from the photographs. Thank you for documenting our day!

Of course, I aim for this in every encounter. I work exactly the same way for each client. If I had a dream business goal this would sum it up for each and every encounter.

So that was one kind of reaction born from seeing the pictures soon after the wedding. But it's great to create final products where the images themselves aren't a surprise, most of the time you've been seeing these pictures for a year before an album is delivered. But when the album arrives, it's taken to another level.

I wanted to let you know that my family is flipping over the album. Words can't describe how happy Jason and I are and how amazed we are at the beauty of the finished product. We are grateful for your hard work and look forward to sharing it over and over again. Thanks again! It's gorgeous (and not because it's of us) haha.

And with that, it's Thank You very much to ALL of my clients and back to work!

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All pictures posted on this blog are protected by U.S. copyright and are the property of Scott Lewis and can not be used without written permission.

About Me

I'm a veteran photojournalist with 20 years of experience telling stories with pictures.