Truthy Tuesday | Inspiration is not imitation

Happy Tuesday! We’re back at it again :)

Today I’m going to chat with you guys about inspiration because:

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A question creatives get asked from time to time is “who/what inspires you?” and often folks respond with a list of their favorite artists for one reason or another… You may even check out some of the individuals mentioned and wonder what about their work is so inspiring. But that’s the beautiful thing about art and inspiration. It’s so very up to interpretation that one can find inspiration almost anywhere!

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Which leads me to the point of my choosing this topic for today… Inspiration is not imitation. Sometimes as a new photographer it’s hard to find that balance of inspiration|imitation. You’re sooo inspired by all of these great photographers you follow that you may find yourself (knowingly or unknowingly) imitating the style, lighting, editing, posing of your favorite photographers! I feel like this happens to everyone starting out, but I guess I shouldn’t speak for others… I’ll just say that I know it happened to me lol.

I knew what I liked/didn’t like and when I saw other photographers with work similar to what I thought I wanted mine to look like, I simply imitated what I saw them doing. Not always exactly, but pretty close. It wasn’t until I stopped looking so much at other photographers’ work and really examined what I liked that I found my own style. This is not to say that I have a style that is 100% original (because nothing is new under the sun :), but it is to say that my style is just that- mine. A true reflection of me.

I say all this to say that while everyone needs inspiration, be careful that it’s not crossing the line to imitation. My advice for new or aspiring photographers is to examine what it is about the work that inspires you- Is it the photographer’s use of lighting? Their models? The locations? The posing? Editing? From there you’ll be better able to incorporate those specific elementsย into your work. That way you’re crafting your own unique style that will be a true reflection of you!

And on a slightly different (but related) note: this is also a beautiful thought to keep in mind.ย 

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Try not to stifle your creativity if you feel it’s going in a different direction from what’s trending… that’s when awesomeness happens :)

I think I might like writing these Truthy Tuesday posts every other week!

Until next time,

-Danni