As I stand at this crossroads in my photography journey, I find myself contemplating the diverse paths that lie ahead: that of a content creator, an artist, and a personal enthusiast. Join me as I explore these three distinct avenues and share my thoughts on which direction to take.
My journey in professional photography begun when I started to shoot with models. It became an important part of my identity and I called myself a passionate people photographer. The path of the enthusiast resonates deeply within me because it gave me the freedom to develop my craft without the need to pick a genre and market myself. Photography was my way to live out my creativity and it gave me joy, finding fulfilment in the process. This led me in my creative work to a place where portrait and fashion photography intersect. This allowed me to develop a photographic style of lifelike imagery and storytelling in photography without being constrained by the expectations of a genre.
And so, the moment came when I wished that my photography was more than just a hobby for my personal pleasure.
It was tempting to follow the path of the artist, since it promised to create for the sake of creation – the soulful act of creation at the core of it: Finding purpose and meaning in breathing life into the ordinary and capture the mundane and transform it into something extraordinary, as we look at it through the lens of our hearts.
But I wouldn’t call myself an artist. If my picture touches the viewer in the heart, that is great, and I appreciate it. But I hesitate to put the label “artist” on me for three reasons: First – I don’t believe I labels. Second – I think my work lacks a signature that marks it as recognizable mine. Third – I don’t believe that my approach is truly artistic: For me there are only two ways to do this: the conceptual photography and the social documentary. Both types didn’t fit my style of working very much.
The content creator
Unlike the artist, a content creator has a business model in mind when she creates. Who is it for and what is it for. Pick your niche, become an expert in it and build your personal brand around this. For example, a friend of mine is all about Japanese Tea. Which is great because she is really passionate about tea spent some time in Japan on a tea farm and gives courses about the tea ceremony.
This path comes closer to my idea of creating a work that matters. The downside of this path is that many content creators create the kind of content that generates the most traffic. Very often they find themselves in the situation where they are unhappy with the direction their content went.
Start with why
The path I will choose may not be singular; it may be a fusion of these roles, evolving as I venture forward. To become an advocate for change we have to embrace the uncertainty, love the process, and face the scary moments of transformation. This quote guides me in my work:
Be the change you want to see in the world.Dalai Lama
I strive for my photography to have an impact on someone’s life and make it better. I aspire my work to become a tool for mental health, calm and inner peace. I wish that I my images help and empower those who struggle and deal with their inner demons to find their place and follow their calling – just like me.