Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with fellow photojournalist Patrick Smith.
The way Patrick approaches imagery is unparalleled. Every photograph he makes is marked with his own creative direction and to see his style is inspiring. (Click the link below to see his work.)
I approached Patrick to do a simple online portfolio review of my website. He responded with more than I could ask for and we ended up meeting up in person and discussing my work at much greater lengths.
One major aspect he went over with me was pairing images. A simple way to make your work flow from one image to another by finding visual similarities in the images. Although more or less not a complex idea the results were drastic. I found new life in old work and ended up going back and looking at both past and future assignments with a whole new set of eyes.
Besides Patrick Smith, I have met with AP Photographer Pat Semansky, USA TODAY photographer Joy Absalon and Baltimore Orioles Team Photographer Todd Olszewski. Each photographer has been able to help me grow and develop both my portfolio and how I approach new assignments.
Having the ability to work along side another photographer for six months can have a profound result on your work. Working with Orioles photographer Todd Olszewski has not just been a pleasure but an experience that helped shape my direction in photography. When I look at the images I made prior to my work with the Orioles and after the changes are obvious. I shoot with a higher level of attention to details and really began utilizing my opportunities to their fullest.
When I began to approach photographers for portfolio reviews Todd was an obvious choice. He had first hand experience with my progress and was able to really help start showcasing my better work.
One of the most interesting parts of my conversations was how drastic many of the photographers opinions were. Pat Semansky may say to he did not think an image worked well while Joy Absalon said she loved the image. Hearing so many different takes on the same image at first was hard to follow but eventually became clear.
When I look at these other photographers I see who I want to be. All successful, talented and helpful individuals but all with different ideas of what the final product should be. To some it may seem frustrating, never getting an definitive answer but to me it was refreshing. It reaffirmed the idea of how subjective photography really is. Pat Semansky said something to me that really hit home. One of his editors may love an image, then his editor's boss will hate it and someone else may love it you just have to find the images that you wanna make and the ones that your editors didn't even know that they wanted you to make.
The most exciting part I find in photography is the growth. No matter if you are new to the field, or a seasoned veteran every assignment is an opportunity to try something new and most importantly learn from it.
Normally I try to keep these posts short and sweet but the impact all of these photographers have had on me could not be summed up in a few short sentences.
Until next time, take care!