Guest Blogger Emily Johnston is a photographer who loves the sense of freedom travelling gives her. In this episode she talks about the importance of taking inspiration from various sources, not just the ones directly connected to your business.
Even though I am wedding photographer I rarely look at other wedding photographers work to gain inspiration. My reasoning behind this choice is 1) it is important to create your own individual and unique style and 2) looking at other people's work within the same industry can easily lead to self-comparison, envy, jealousy and all those other unproductive emotions. Which everyone, especially those starting up a business or already self-employed, should do their upmost to steer clear of.
Think outside the box
Take a look at the indirect influences of your business and explore their motivations. Consider what inspires and excites your ideal client and then see where these sources originate from. I believe it is important to take inspirations for your work from all areas of life and make an conscious effort to look around you – in all directions…
Above: architecture, astronomy, spirituality and your mentors.
Below: nature, geography, evolution and biology.
Behind: your memories, historic periods, iconic people of yesteryears and previous fashion trends.
In Front: technology, predictions, up-and-coming talent, your dreams and ambitions.
For example, when it comes to the style and form of my photography I predominately take my inspiration from fashion photographers, magazines and brands. The context of my work is often inspired by lifestyle theories, the books and quotes I read as well as personal experiences and emotions. Then the aesthetics I lean towards, such as lighting and colour schemes, are mostly influences by Mother Nature and all the delights she has to offer.
A great resource for collecting all these ideas is Pinterest. Take a look at mine and Her Lovely Hearts boards for even more inspiration. Also remember that your influences don't necessarily have to be solely visual. I encourage you to get out from behind your computer and tune into all your senses. Consider sound, texture, taste and even smell. Then translate these sensations into aims and goals that will define your work and ultimately shape your business.
We would love for you to share how you get inspired ?
All images: Emily Johnston (top image shot in collaboration with The Stylists Rail)