Doing my own thing
I always prefer to "do my own thing". I have no interest in copying other photographers except perhaps if they have some cool short cut or something they can offer. Its one reason I no longer spend any time cultivating classes locally or nationally which are taught by other photographers. Too many times, you are shown how they do it and then you practice that, learning only what they do to take a picture. That fails to do much for me. I prefer classes that discuss composition, nuances of light, how to run your business or that sort of thing. When it comes to photography, I just stick with what I know and what is right to me. People see it in my work since I'm told often my pictures are some of the most interesting they have seen of them selves or other familiar subjects. I can shoot and copy any style, it doesn't take much effort to do so. It takes more skill and courage, I think, to do your own thing.
I like to shoot people, probably the most of anything I point a camera at. I like to shoot portraits, head shots, kids...and yes, even newborns but I don't really go looking for that sort of work. And it doesn't come seeking me out either. Suffice to say though, I do love people as subjects and especially when we can work together to show them interacting with life. I don't mean "candid" either. Candids are something totally different.
I do love babies, always have. My son growing up and passing on into that 2 year old and older stage was a bit melancholy for me. They truly are young only once. As I said though, I am rarely approached to shoot newborns or the very young and I NEVER advertise to shoot newborns. Why? Well, my style, if you can call it that, is not what most Moms want, to be honest. I shoot newborns like any other people, at their level doing their thing. They are portraits. I will certainly draw the ire of Moms (if they read this and I'm pretty sure they don't!) with this next statement but I absolutely abhor the use of those head bands, head bands with flowers and other objects on them, and I hate the fuzzy out of focus, slightly over exposed look that EVERY new born photographer seems to use. I don't like moulding them into crates, boats or other vessels in unnatural ways to show how cute they are. Sure I prop them up inside a basket or a crate but its for a different reason when I do it. I do it to keep them from moving around and rolling away, not as a cute prop. If you like head bands, frilly stuff and fuzzy pics, Search Facebook. You will pay less too. I do like clothing changes, and different blankets and covers; I like using some props to set a tone, like a simple baseball glove, maybe some flowers, teddy bears, etc. But I still prefer to keep the photo about the subject, no matter what I'm shooting. I want my photos to show them, not cute things from Hobby Lobby. With a newborn or very young "post" newborn, I want to show that they are a baby...they way they are naturally.
So I don't go after newborn or post newborn business. I only work with those parents who have the same sort of taste I do. I admit, today I did shoot a newborn, and since it had been a while and I did not get to ask the Mom, I got worried and I borrowed heavily from an excellent newborn photographer, Jola Wulf. She set me up with all sorts of clothing, baskets, and other stuff. I wound up using a few cheesecloth covers, a "Game of Thrones" basket (mostly cause I liked it!) which you can barely see in the photos and few furry skins which were cool and had great texture. I never touched a bunch of props and things Jola lent me. This Mom had no problem with my "vision" or look. Yessir, thats my customer.
I picked up a camera years upon years ago to express what I saw. I started this business to continue that expression. I don't really care what other photographers are doing. Some times I see a great picture and I can tell how it was shot, and sure I could duplicate it but thats not me. Kudos for the image maker being original. I also see picture after picture of the same thing across social media and in particular on photo blogs. There are other ways to compose those pictures Other ways to light them. Be creative. Take it to your level. I like to do my own thing. I think those that I work for, my customers, are the same way, they like an original, not a copy. That is the reason I have a camera and business. So far I have found enough people that agree with me. I hope it lasts!