How working with other photographers can give you a fresh perspective.
This past week a fellow photog friend of mine and I partnered up and photographed a motherhood session side by side in her home studio. With so many photographers out there it can easily feel like we are all just competing with one another, especially (in my case) with photographers like Crystal who share such a similar style as me. Instead of seeing her as competition however, I thought, what would it look like to collaborate instead? What could we learn from each other and about ourselves in the process? How could this potentially change the way we shoot for the better?
I had never done anything like this before, but thought it would be fun to collaborate on this session together, watch each other work, and bounce ideas off of each other to give ourselves a fresh perspective. How often do we get stuck shooting the same angles, suggesting the same ideas to create engagement, and find ourselves in the same routine each session? And maternity sessions especially can end up just that way. They are something I have been intentionally practicing with because there's only so much you can do with a mama and her belly and know for myself, I run out of ideas quickly during those sessions.
When the session began, "OH MY!" I felt so vulnerable and nervous with Crystal next to me. As photographers, our finished product is something we are proud of and ready to share with the world, but it's definitely a process getting to those final images. What would Crystal think of me when she sees how uninspired I am feeling in this moment? What would she think of me when she sees that maybe I'm not that great at coming up with ideas for maternity sessions? And how would I feel seeing how seamlessly SHE powers through them? All legitimate fears right? Ha!
“Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable." - Dr. Brené Brown
Once we got going we both took the reins, suggested different things, and it ended up turning out SO well! I was able to show Crystal different ways to photograph in the studio she shoots in every week and SHE was able to show me different ways to pose expecting mothers (something that intimidates me every time). And seeing her finished product in the end gave me a little glimpse into her creative process as seeing mine will as well I'm sure. It was so fun seeing how she saw the exact same moment as I did; what angles she chose, how she chose to edit the images, and final images she chose to deliver.
Below are a few favorites of mine that Crystal created.
And here are a few favorites from what I shot.
So, how can YOU collaborate and learn from each other? I want to encourage all of you to find other creatives who inspire you to get a little vulnerable with. Be open to their ideas and their way of shooting, share what you yourself know, and I guarentee you will only walk away with more confidence and a fresh perspective for future sessions. Happy collaborating!!