The photographer's holy grail

October 19, 2017

I'm mostly a fine art photographer (term used in its general form) and what I read most at the upper-level tutorials regarding creativity, is that the so called factor of "difference" and being distinguishable is the photographer's holy grail. The goal is to make photos that one will look at and say "hey, this was surely taken by X, I know his style". This might be my personal opinion but I have to say that looking for such an attribute in thousands of photos taken by both pros and amateurs alike, I rarely see this happening. But, you know what? this isn't essentially a bad thing. I mostly look for the "signature" that one leaves on a photo he has created and talking about landscape, fine-art architectural and photo manipulation photography, there are only but a few artists that have achieved a signature style. Should others worry about not making the cut yet? I think not.

 

The fact is that there are many pro photographers out there that once you see their artworks, you just can't tell who is who as their photos are so much alike in terms of subject, framing and post processing. However, many of them have managed to make money out of this and I'm really glad for them as they've combined business with pleasure. Think of this last quote for a while, "they have combined business with pleasure". So, apart from being constantly good on how you make photos, there is one more key element to being a pro and that is to expose yourself and learn some marketing lessons. Indeed, apart from your great photographic abilities, you should also look for opportunities and ways to make your presence noticeable. Workshops, e-books, prepaid online tutorials, live feeds etc., they all end up to you being different and distinguishable but the funny thing is that most of the authors themselves are not that distinguishable. We all know of the grail but almost none of those thousands of tutorials will effectively show you how to get it. You know why? because in reality, you don't need a mass market tutorial to learn about getting the grail.

Should you decide to not take the path alone by try and error, what you need is a mentor, someone that will know you both as a person and a photographer inside out, one that will be helpful in elevating your relationship with photography but this counts only if you want to combine business with pleasure. Believe me, getting awards at acclaimed competitions will only feed your soul but rarely your family. Yes I know, a distinguished photographer is mostly the one that has earned many awards but then again, who is that successful and just in deciding who deserves to be awarded or not? Suddenly, being distinguishable seems so far from being distinguished... ​​​

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