A combination of perfect portfolios and consistent Instagram posts gives our work a style that gives our clients and followers a strong sense of who we are. However, is there a danger that sticking to a certain style can be restrictive?
In this short video, Matt Day explores our tendency as photographers not to step out of our “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to shooting, fearing that by straying too far from what we know how to photograph might be uncomfortable. Is it because we are afraid of taking a risk, perhaps worried about undermining the image of ourselves that we have carefully constructed and present to the world through our photography? Or maybe it’s just a fear of failure, that experimenting with new ideas strays too far from what we’ve built our success upon.
I can relate to Day as, like thousands of photographers around the world, the global pandemic has meant focusing on what is on my doorstep. Suddenly, instead of traveling across Europe photographing athletes and cities, I’m shooting impressionistic landscape images of a forest. I held off publishing these shots on social media as they are so distant from what people know me for but, taking me by surprise, the photos have proven popular. Suddenly, I’m selling prints and picking up bits and pieces of work locally, and I almost wish I’d not held off for so long.
Does experimenting with style feel like a risk? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.