Step out side of tradition and rip your tripod from the holes that others put there so long ago. Don’t just regurgitate what others have done before you. We all shoot the icons at one time or another, I still do sometimes. It’s a good learning experience to make your own spin on what others have done before you. But what’s that saying about us when that becomes the norm? Take the iconic shot when it’s there, get it out of the way and then forget about it. Check it off “the list” and then make the rest of the photos you make there your own.
When I look at an artist’s body of work, from any of the disciplines, I want to see them in their work. I want to see how it speaks to their heart. I don’t want it to say what others would like it to say. It’s your voice in the photos that you make and they should be saying what you want them to say. So say it. Tell your story the way you want it to be told. Stay true to yourself.
We (mostly guys) put way too much weight on the mechanics and specs of cameras, tripods, lenses and what-not. Today’s tools are probably the best they’ve ever been, quit worrying about the next best thing or upgrading and just shoot. Photography “rules,” while they can be a good guide, are secondary as well. What a vanilla world we would live in if we all shot by the “rules”. Both the rules and tools are just a means to an end. Learning how to use them can seem like a challenge initially, but translating and using them to tell your story should always be primary. That is where the real challenges arise.
Art isn’t objective, it’s subjective. Make it that way. If you tell your story through your heart, people will see it. Shoot from there and the story you want that photo to tell will shine though.