It's very easy in the creative industry to get stuck within your artistic niche once you get comfortable. While this can be an awesomely rewarding way of working, I'd like to shed a different light on the topic through a recent stills shoot I did in Melbourne.
I am a filmmaker. I wouldn't call myself a professional photographer purely due to the fact that I focus all my efforts on video. At least, that's the story I had in my head. Last month I had an urge to get out and shoot a new line of stills with an experienced model. It ended up taking some internal persuasion as I have been told in the past that photography is a distraction from my chosen business niche in the video world. An awesome, fun and rewarding distraction, but a distraction none the less.
I do see the value of this. A Jack of all trades is a master of none.
As creatives we definitely need to find what makes us tick in our chosen field or medium in distributing to the world, however I believe pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is just as important.
Going into this autumn themed fashion shoot I knew it was outside of what I usually do for work. The last notable fashion/creative portrait shoot I had done was all the way back in 2013. So I was out of practice in the area to say the least. Yes, I had fears of producing mediocre images as a result of inexperience, but what I did have on my side was a creative itch that I needed to scratch. And sometimes that is all it takes for you to try something new in or outside your medium.
If you have something outside your usual line of work that you've been holding back doing. Either you see it as a distraction from your focused energy or the story of "inexperience" is getting the better of you, just get out there and shoot.
Now that the shoot is finished and the photos are edited I can safely say that it was well worth it. I have a bunch of learnings I've taken away from the shoot from the planning stages with the model, through to shooting techniques and editing processes in post.
So this winter get out there and shoot! Try something out of your normal line of work.
And who knows, maybe it will create a new passion that you didn't know was there, and maybe, just maybe, you will start making a living from it.