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I'm a professional photographer with a small, part-time business with the bulk of my clients being families with young children. I was happy with my clients and the photos I was producing, but I was feeling completely unfulfilled with photographing my own kids. I was getting more and more frustrated with the photos I was taking of my own boys, while I was producing beautiful images of other people's kids. I knew I needed to change my approach but didn't know how so I decided to tackle a daily shooting project in 2016. Shooting daily for an entire year was the best thing I've done for my photography. I learned to push past seeing the “cute” moments, and capture my kids in a way that made me happy as a parent and as an artist. That's my number one goal, to create images that fulfills those two parts of me.
As I grew in my photography, I created somewhat of a mental checklist to go over when I'm not sure what or how to shoot. I know the elements that I need to add to my photos in order to be happy with them, so when I'm observing a scene I will mentally go over my list and see what can be applied. The categories include a fresh perspective, interesting light/shadows, emotion, movement, and photography tricks. I've realized adding at least one thing from this list when I'm shooting prevents me from being bored with the images I'm creating and really transform the images from being cute pics of my kids to something much more.
1. Shoot daily. Sometimes the most unique and artistic photos can come when you least want to pick up your camera.
2. Don't shy away from shooting the same thing over and over. Doing this will force you to find new ways to shoot the same thing.
3. Experiment. Try something new!. Ring of fire, prism, double exposure, freelensing, underwater photography etc. They may seem daunting and you may fail miserably, but you may also find that one these techniques stirs something in you as an artist.
4. Find your people. Whether it's members of the Improve Photography Facebook group, a group of local photographer friends or on Instagram, etc. Find a group of photographers that you can grow with and encourage one another.