Something you may or may not realize about being more-than-a-little obsessed with photography is that it comes with "photographer crushes." Ask anyone who takes themselves even remotely seriously when it comes to creating photos and they'll likely be able to rattle off about five photographers whose work or business prowess inspires them. Some of mine? Jordan Voth, Lauren Scotti, and Grant Daniels. Recently, though, I've been in love with the words and philosophies of Lissa Chandler, who writes amazing tutorials and is an avid blogger in addition to being a wildly good photographer. Lissa recently compiled a series of tutorials on one the forums I'm a member of. The tutorials focused on communicating your style as a photographer. One of my favorite lines Lissa wrote was "show what you want to shoot" and I really took it to heart.
This year, I've done a lot of "free" work, or work for product trade. While I (of course) need money, taking it out of the equation in some instances has allowed me to slow down, hone my style, and take control of sessions where I sometimes might have felt obligated to follow a vision that wasn't my own. The funny thing? I've gotten so much positive feedback on my pro bono work! To me, it speaks volumes. It means that my voice is coming through in the photos I create and I'm producing honest, organic, heartfelt work. The love I'm pouring into each photo is communicated back out to the viewer, and that's the biggest goal I could ever have when I raise a camera to my eye. When I share anything with anyone, it's because I want the people I photograph in the future to choose me because they love what they've seen coming from me all along.
That said, in the spirit of "showing what you want to shoot" I'm adding a few personal photos to the end of this blog. These photos are of yesterday's adventures in the city with my best girl Katie. Each year on spring break, we have a girl date, and yesterday we just had brunch and wandered the streets of Philly. I took a series of portraits and I'm just in love with them. They're exactly the kind of shots I love to do -- quirky, filmy, and authentic. They make me excited about spring and summer, excited about photography, and excited about life in general. As always, a big thanks to Katie, who is forever patient with being my model and never complains when I saturate the internet with her photos!