What motivates me as a photographer? I suspect many people would think hanging out with models would do it, but that’s really not enough of a reason to devote your whole working life to something (not for me anyway!)
My motivation comes down to three things:-
1) Bringing about a change in someone. Take the following example…
Last summer I worked with someone who’d been in an abusive relationship for three years. Her boyfriend had made her feel unattractive and worthless, & having had the courage to break away from him, she’d decided to reboot herself by having a year of new, life-affirming experiences (now *that* would be a blog worth reading!), one of which was a semi-naked glamour shoot.
She arrived on the day enthusiastic but full of nerves, which is an ideal combination for me as I always seem to be able to get people to relax around me. She was really attractive, but understandably found it hard to believe that after what she’d been through. One of my absolute favourite things about my job (& there are quite a few to choose from) is watching someone like that blossom from frightened rabbit in the first few shots to sex kitten over the course of the shoot, and to see it (& help cause it to) happen in someone who’d had such a hard time made it one of my favourite shoots of the year.
I’ve seen this happen so many times, perfectly lovely people just don’t know how to point themselves at a camera, & in a world where we’re photographed daily, it can have quite an effect on someone’s confidence. To help show them how attractive they can look and to give them more confidence makes me happy. I’ve always felt that a person’s attractiveness is mostly to do with what lies beneath the skin, so it’s just a case of bringing it to the surface.
2) Something shiny & new.
I’m often asked what my favourite photo of mine is, it’s usually the most recent one where I’ve done something creative. There’s something exciting about finding a new background, angle or lighting setup that always gives me a tingle when I get it right. It can be quite terrifying to step out of my comfort zone but it’s pretty much always worth the effort. I realised towards the end of last year that I was losing my work mojo, & it was because I was concentrating solely on paid work and not being creative as well. I’ve started 2012 with some more creative shoots such as latex, couples, (boys, DJs, first glamour for a while & art nude to come in future blogs), and I’m suddenly more fired up about my photography than I have been for quite a while.
Yep, I’m not ashamed to admit it, I’m sufficiently insecure that I’m motivated by praise. I have a job that brings me quite a bit of it, & I never get remotely tired of hearing it. I’m drawn to shooting portfolios for better known models more for the response it’ll bring than for the photos. I can’t help it, it’s just the way I’m built, I’ve always had jobs where I got plenty of feedback as I went along.
In summary, give me a nervous newbie, a creative pro or someone amazing who’ll get me lots of blog comments & I’ll continue to be a very happy and motivated photographer.