My Inspiration

A few years ago, when I decided to start taking my photography seriously, I started subscribing to every photography blog I stumbled upon. 6 months (and 120 subscriptions later), I was inundated with new ideas and inspiration on a daily basis.

My main goal was to please my client. If they liked funky, I could do funky. If they wanted backdrops and props, I was all over it. Because a happy client is always a good thing, right?

I wanted to shoot families in a classic, commercial Audrey Woulard style,

with Blue Lilly spunk and color pop,

and Tara Whitney charm.

Newborns were going to be shot like Baby as Art. Hanging from trees and squished up into little baskets.

I planned on taking the best parts from every photographer and squeezing them into the Melissa E brand--all while pleasing my clients' tastes.

You know what? I was wrong.

Instead of inspiring me, my giant list of "inspirations" made me second guess the most important part of being an artist--my instincts. I felt overwhelmed and my style became watered down.

I didn't realize that focusing on pleasing other people would lead to uninspired work. My work lost its soul, and my images didn't come from an honest place. And it showed. I got bored and burned out. I knew that in order for me to be happy as a photographer, something had to change.

The first thing I needed to change was my goal. Though I still wanted to please my clients, I only shot that which inspired me. I pushed, changed, and redirected until I felt myself swooning through my viewfinder. I started to trust my style and I trusted my heart. Though I realized this would alienate some clients, I started to be okay with that. It actually felt really good to say things like "if you love Walmart portraits, you're probably not going to like me." My work became more about the art and less about the money. Consequently, I started feeling inspired again.

Over the past year, I have approached my work differently. I realize now that the images I capture are a reflection of myself; that photography is (or should be) deeply personal.

Last week I deleted over 100 subscriptions from my reader.

From now on, it's me, my camera, my life as a wife and mom and my clients to inspire me.

And I can't wait.

The following pictures are personal to me. Obviously they tell a story about the subject, but what most people don't realize is that they tell a story about me too.

Thank you for trusting me. Thank you for letting me into your lives, and letting me be inspired by you and your family.

2010 is going to be a really great year.


About This Blog

All images by Melissa E Photography are protected under copyright law. Reproductions of any kind are strictly prohibited. Melissa E Photography reserves the right to use images for display, publication and promotional purposes of its business. All images remain the property of Melissa E Photography.

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