Guest Blog: Freelance Photographer Holly Mason
My blog today is to talk a little bit about things I wish I knew about photography when I began, and how weird and wonderful it can be. It’ll be a bit messy but hopefully you can get some insight from me and hang on til the end!
I started photography back when I was 15, a teacher gave me a bridge camera to take home over the weekend and told me to take photos of whatever caught my attention. The pictures I took were horrific and I edited them very very badly on Picnik… RIP. Unfortunately I can’t show the photographs because I deleted them as soon as I became embarrassed by them being online!
As you can see below I over edited all of my images, angles didn’t exist and shooting in any direction was my thing, I also enjoyed the use of colour selection and I absolutely did not know how to colour balance!
As a photographer or any type of creative person, you should just allow yourself to evolve! I know it’s hard but try to stop stressing out about how many likes you’re getting on social media and just create work that YOU enjoy. I understand that if you’re working for a client then you may have to stick to a specific brief, however if you are working for yourself and creating content that you enjoy by messing around with new techniques, things that interest you or making work by trial and error then I guarantee that you will enjoy more of what you create.
Over the last 10 years I’ve developed my skills in different aspects of photography and tried not to just stick to one niche like a lot of photographers do. Sometimes I think it would have been easier to throw myself into a specific aspect of photography but I’m glad I didn’t because I don’t want to trap myself and become stagnant.
It can be a overwhelming place to be in when you can’t creatively express yourself, I’ve found that trying to stick to a specific theme or style can be tiring, I trialed this for a month on my instagram and the likes don’t change, nor do the comments or shares! It’s all subjective and if you become obsessive with social media then it can really stunt your creative flow and your courage you have to post things. This happens to me in waves, I will be going out all the time to shoot for a while and suddenly it’s been a month and I haven’t picked up my camera or posted anything online. Yeah that grid below looks pretty, but oh my was it boring..
I think I have an inconsistent style and it can be stressful at times when I’m looking at other peoples feeds but that in time is something I can try to unlearn and just enjoy what I post. A good thing about Instagram is that you can remove the likes from all posts so you don’t see them, when this was introduced earlier this year I decided to use that feature and so far so good! I don’t feel as anxious or sad about talented people I follow having thousands of likes where my page is sitting at an average of 45.
Some of my favourite work has not been when I’ve been thinking about what my peers would like to see, but more of what I want to see, and images that I think would look cool. Some examples of that are below.
I like developing my skills in various areas of photography and I’m unbelievably proud of how far I have come over the past 10 years. Some of the things that I have achieved I would have never of dreamed of, but I’m still pushing forward and enjoying myself no matter what!
And a word of advice for all that have read this far.
Please enjoy what you create, I know it can be stressful as you are your own worst critic, but creating anything good takes time and patience (unfortunately). Always ask questions, big yourself up to people and share your work no matter how insignificant you think it is, because I guarantee at least one person will like it! And that’s all it takes to develop into something way bigger than you can imagine.
Keep on learning!