Emotions are not Trendy

Catchy title?  I liked it.  The phrase came from THIS INTERVIEW with Eric Laurits. I typically don’t listen to these interviews, though I’m sure they’re are all just as awesome as this one.

Something about the fact that Eric is a photographer with a degree in music seemed to obviously capture my attention.  Among some completely enlightening thoughts:   How the musician in him influences the photographer side of him to “listen” rather than “look” while anticipating the perfect photojournalistic moment…, but I was particularly enthralled by two elements of this interview.

#1.  The benefit of NOT following photo blogs in the industry.

#2.  His extrapolation of the thought that “emotions are not trendy”.

I actually share many of the same sentiments that Eric expresses in his disdain for the photo industry world.  Though I’m not going to expound upon that subject, I will most certainly share something that I have established as my personal focus for 2011:



We can get caught in a creative trap very easily.

I loved how Eric admitted that when he first started out as a wedding photographer that he didn’t know blogs existed, and he didn’t know how he was “supposed” to shoot

—according to trend—

..he didn’t know he was supposed to get the “shoe shot”, the shot of the dress hung in the window, the shot of the groomsmen jumping in the air…  instead he just went off his own intuition.

Intuition?  Have we forgotten it?

Do we shoot what we personally truly see and imagine?  Or do we have preconceived visuals in our heads that are a result of watching what every one else is doing and simply looking to the photography industry itself for ideas and creativity?

The incredible sadness to me is that each of us is so fantastically unique with a perspective that is unlike anyone else in the world–I TRULY BELIEVE THIS–And yet we cover it up by allowing ourselves to follow what we see and limit ourselves into thinking there’s one defined path or formula for creativity.  Perhaps we don’t even allow ourselves to explore our own creativity because we have been led to think there is a predefined way to do it.  And worse yet, we may even find ourselves trying to fit our subjects into what we see elsewhere when it may very well not contribute to their personality and evoke authentic emotion into the scene at all.

Yes.  I’m bothered by all of this.  I’m bothered by it in my own work.  And I’m determined to change it.  I’m determined to lessen the degree of “staging” in my photography.  I’m determined to seek out more of reality.  To leave trend alone and focus more of my attention on capturing emotions.

Because emotions aren’t trendy.

And emotions…are what turn “pretty pictures” into “captivating images”.

I want to find inspiration in everyday life and living.

And I want to share the journey with you.  Because I hope for others to take the reigns and do the same.

As part of my passionate creative quest, I’m embarking on a series of creative shoots that are inspired by everyday life and my subjects.  I’ll be filming portions of these shoots and sharing clips here on the blog, along with the results.  The first clip and session feature, coming soon 🙂

In addition, I’d love to feature creative work of other photographers who are “Inspired by Life”  (not trend).  More info for photographer features coming soon.

Thoughts?  Or did I just lose a bunch of followers in my true confession?

Inspired by Life.

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. Her current sources of inspiration draw from everything from Children’s book illustrations… check out Curious George… seriously…and the beauty of everyday life and things.  She is on a quest for “real pictures” and “real inspiration” from “real life”.  Real-ly 🙂

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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23 Responses

  1. Brooke! You just totally inspired me! I keep looking at other blogs wondering how they get “that” look and what do I need to do different to be more like so and so. When I should just be inspired by what is in the moment! Thank you for this post! You are incredible 😎

  2. Brooke. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this hits the nail on the head for me. This is what I have been after from the minute I picked up my camera 3 years ago. But somehow the trends just suck you in! I’d love to join in and take the reigns…in fact I might un-follow a bunch of the photographer blogs I follow on reader and only follow those of my personal friend photog’s!

    And these shots? So FUN! Just taking a guess here…but you probably didn’t take these recently? =) It seems to be still a tad cold in Cache Valley for sprinklers! haha

  3. Are you kidding? I can’t believe you are talking about being bothered by this in your own work!! You–more than anyone I have ever seen–are able to capture REAL pictures & REAL emotions. I love the creativity in all of your shoots–stuff you don’t see anywhere else. I have always loved this about your work–and wish I had the ability to do the same.

  4. This really is inspirational, thanks Brooke. Too often I compare myself to others or try to “be” someone else (in photography and even everyday life). Fact is, I’m ME. I need to stop hesitating and just do what I feel! I am excited for your videos and follow up on this post. Thanks for bringing to light some of yours and Eric’s insights. I’m going to challenge myself to let the “ME” shine a little more in my photography and in my daily activities.

  5. AMEN to what you said and what everyone else has said! This reminds me of our mentor session, something I often refer to in my mind. It is all about emotion– that is what makes images timeless! And it’s about being YOU. No matter what. You have to be yourself as a photographer. It is so hard to not feel inferior to others, but I have to keep telling myself, “They aren’t me. They have different experience, different creativity. I am ME, through and through”. So inspirational! Love it. That is exactly the type of photographer I want to be.

  6. I’m totally with you Brooke. I’ve found that many online forums and blogs are full of grumpy people and “you have to do it this way” mentalities. In fact the more I get into photography the more I find myself IGNORING the “rules”.

    Following the work of people I know and respect can be inspiring and I’m going to try to do just that, and set the “rest” to the side.

    Gosh, this post is so thought-provoking that I can’t even formulate a decent reply…

  7. So well said. I think that not following emotions was what led to the extreme burn out from holiday photos. It became the “standard” poses and locations. Emotions, love, relationships, memories – THAT is what I want to capture! The true smiles, tickles, silly faces, true life events. Getting to know my subjects before the shoot and meet them where THEY are for THEIR life and not what we can “pretend” for a camera! 🙂

  8. Thanks Leslie 🙂 I must admit that I screen everything that shows up on the blog according to REAL EMOTION. I still have shots that have forced smiles, and do plenty of heavy directing and “staging” in order to achieve what I want to see. I still have plenty of room to work to make this the majority of my photos instead of just my favorites.

  9. I have put so much thought into this lately. Excited to see where this leads you- and me-and everyone for that matter.. because you can only be someone else for so long before you stop and wonder who YOU really are. A constant thing on my mind. Love it.

  10. Not sure why my comment showed up that way. Love this post! I have been working on my creative side and it is exhilerating! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for being honest.

  11. Brooke I just have to thank you for helping me to learn and grow as a photographer. You have really helped me to see things differently and to think differently and that is so valuable to me! Thank you so much!

  12. I also think sometimes the current is strong concerning trend. So perhaps one can follow a trend, but also in addition add your unique perspective..
    Let the two grow together..

    1. Absolutely Kim! Some trends are actually a lot of fun! The important part to remember is to not just create the appearance of what we see others doing, but to find the soul and emotion in it to make it real and lasting.

  13. Brooke. Thank you for reminding me why I wanted to put a camera in my hands. Thank you for reminding me that life is the ordinary moments of realness and not filled with random props and trends that may not bring out the true essence of each persons life. Thank you for finally making me realize that just because I dont jump on the trend band wagon with my style of photography thats ok and I can still succeed. And I will.

  14. You know I have been feeling the same way. I feel so exhausted from all the hype and the pressure of trying to be something I’m really not! I feel liberated after reading your post! Thank you and hopefully I can fill my cup back up with excitement and anticipation and bring that back into my work!

  15. hi brooke, i am totally about shooting emotions. Every year i suggest to a photo club to do emotions.Every year they say no! i know i’ll get some crap for saying this..but that is why i am so totally against giving antidepressants for every little blip in someones life. good to see you!!

  16. Brooke.

    THANK YOU! This is my first time on your blog and this has got to be a favorite post of mine (from any blog). I recently got married and I went on a mad search to find a photographer that wouldn’t pose/stage us but instead let us move around and end up where we end up. Some advice was given (a chin tuck there, a hand in a pocket here, etc.) but for the most part I (or the others in the bridal party) threw out ideas and she shot. I love my pictures! And my favorite one of the day – during our reception: my head on his shoulder, both with half smiles, and a solitary tear on each of our cheeks. I was stunned by it. So yes – emotion is beautiful and so worth capturing.

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