Everyone of us is born unique. Each with his own signature look, laugh, quirk. I had an interesting discussion with a friend this past weekend. She was showing me some of her work. I really liked the images she had in her portfolio. She explored how she saw things and the images were not the everyday images you see, ok maybe some of them were. We all see the world differently, and we should explore THAT. There’s been a lot of posts on finding your vision, and I won’t be touching on any of that. If you want to find more on that check out David DuChemin’s writing and work . Excellent and inspiring stuff. This is however about how she created the cover for this portfolio. It was hand written in different colored markers. It was cute and unique. I at first kinda made fun of it as nothing short of a sixth grade child’s writing. We went back and forth on whether she should have designed something in some vector program on the computer to make it more professional. But she remained adamant on why she did it that way and stuck to her guns. This led me to think,’what makes something professional ? ‘ OK, the images have to meet certain standards, but should the presentation or wrappings detract from its significance ? Some might say yes, but that’s a discussion for another day.
This served as a reminder to me that we do it first for ourselves. If it doesn’t make us happy, then who are we trying to please ? We have to satisfy the inner critique first and foremost. Chase Jarvis wrote a post the other day, “Not everyone is going to like your work’ . But you better like it. No matter how many accolades and great reviews we receive from others, self satisfaction with our work must be foremost. In case she didn’t know, I eventually liked the cover and I see it as a personal signature that it truly reflects the pride and personal connection she feels about her work. Super clean, pristine portfolios sometimes lack this. There’s a time and place for everything.
When the photographer’s vision and client’s vision align, it truly makes for exceptional work. We can all copy from each other, but what sets us part is the way we see and envision things. When the originator of the style,vision,idea suddenly decides to change it up, the copycats are left floundering grasping for straws not understanding the reasoning behind the it all. This might seem idealistic of thought and several economic factors might preempt this from happening, but I believe this should be the ultimate goal where our individuality and unique way of doings things is the reason why clients and customers chose, not because we are a cheaper copy of something they desire !!