Session Secrets: Why I chose to remain anonymous

My Vision

 Challenge:

This shoot was to advertise a local charter high school in the Back To School edition of a local magazine.  Working with an eclectic group of kids and personalities is challenging as is working with a large number of people.  Combine that with a busy environment and composition turns into a bit of a nightmare.  We started out shooting in front of the school (per request of the administration), then made our way indoors where I searched for the perfect background.

Solution:

  • I immediately knew that I wanted to shoot in the school cafeteria.  There were some glorious windows to utilize natural light and a shiny newly polished floor to offer some lovely reflections. The background was clean, simple, and consistent.
  • Giving the students something to do helped them feel less awkward and contributed to my vision of the shoot: to represent learning, friendships, and progress.

As you continue to develop a style and vision in line with your brand it becomes increasingly important to filter what you put out in the world.

Great photographers are also great editors…meaning: THEY DON’T SHOW THE WORK THEY’RE NOT PROUD OF OR DOESN’T REPRESENT THEIR VISION.

This shoot also taught me that (gasp!) not everyone shares passion for my vision to represent their business.

Though I was hired by the magazine to shoot their covers, in the end, the vision still belonged to the business being featured, and they make the final call.

The following image was chosen for the cover of the magazine, but did not represent my style and was shot by request:

I faced a certain dilemma at publication, since traditionally the photographer receives credit on the cover. (A remarkable bit of advertising for a photographer to their local community).

I chose to remain anonymous.  

Are you intentional about what you share? Do all your images reflect a consistent style or message?  Could people pick your work out from a panel of examples because you’re so intentional about how and what you shoot?

There really is a remarkable difference you can see between images I shoot that are my own vision and images that represent someone else’s vision.

This isn’t to say I never shoot something different. I’ve shot some community events, formal family pictures, newborns, and some product photography as small favors for friends. But you aren’t going to see them here, and I avoid drawing attention to anything that is not consistent with my message and what I enjoy doing.

What you put out you get back.

If you’re tired of shooting family reunions don’t show them on your site. If you’re tired of shooting traditional pictures, stop sharing them on your site. If you don’t want to do product photography forever, stop sharing it.

I know what its like to shoot anything and everything in order to feed your family, and there’s no shame in that whatsoever. But always keep the ultimate goal of where you want to be in sight:

Own your work. Own your vision. And seek for a match with those you work with.

Read other Tiny Tips for a Dramatic Difference HERE.

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. Her proudest accomplishment this week was running two miles. She despises running. She got tricked into it. But upon finding out the distance she beamed with pride that she did something hard and horrible!  Now she thinks she can do practically anything.

Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.

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9 Responses

  1. What a great post – so very true! I agree – your vision would be the one that I would be drawn to but clearly they do not agree. But it must feel good to know you are in a position to be able to be anonymous. Speaks to who you are as a person and an artist that you remained to those things!

  2. Great reminder Brooke! I love the first photo…so much more storytelling going on. I would be attracted to a school with that photo:) But I have worked in Public Relations and, as an agency representative, I had to go with the client’s decision too. Kudos to you for staying true to yourself!

  3. Brave, strong, confident. Such a loss for them to take the time to hire someone for their vision and creativity, then not use it.

    On a side note… I read that… the run… AWESOME! There is a whole culture of us “mother runners” out there. Come join us!

    1. ha ha ha!!!! Oh heavens. I still need to first learn to like running before doing it again 😉 I’m doing CrossFit right now (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) but maybe once I’m totally in shape running won’t be as tortuous??? maybe???

      1. Whatever physical activity you choose, it empowers you. I am sooo not a natural born runner! Started with the Couch-to-5K program last September. Running is something that is a constant struggle. Everyday I look forward to my run, but still have to convince myself to start. I’m slower than cold tar. 😛 So why do it? The feeling of accomplishment, just like what you felt. Whether it’s a four minute mile or a fourteen minute mile, you still ran a mile! 🙂

        1. This is fabulous 🙂 “whatever physical activity you choose, it empowers you”. So true! Just moving physically is one of the best ingredients for happiness!

  4. Absolutely love the composition, lighting. And feel of the cafeteria images. If it’s am artistic school those images would stir me to check it out. I love the insight you bring to being a photographer and artist. Every post you make is so full of helpful information. I find myself looking forward to seeing you in my inbox!!

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