Be yourself; everyone else is already taken…. A quote from Oscar Wilde. Every time I read this, I realize how important it is to remember.
Before you can “Brand your Style,” you must first create one. As an artist, I’m consistently looking for ways to be unique and different while still loving my work and hopefully making my clients happy. I realize that being different is a very difficult thing to do. There are so many wonderful photographers/artists out there, how can I stand out from the crowd? How can I be seen? What can I do that hasn’t been done before? How can I brand myself as “That Photographer that is all that?” Where will my inspiration come from? So many unanswered questions.
I wrote an article 15 years ago about all these things and now as I read it again, I realize that nothing has changed in regards to these issues so please bear with me as I quote myself.
I sometimes find ad campaigns that I believe are directed specifically at me. When Apple came out with their very accurate “Think Different” campaign, it hit a cord with me that has lasted over many years. Thinking different is really hard, and in some cases, not thinking different is even harder. Either way, it’s a struggle for so many of us who just want to be accepted and appreciated for the work we do. It’s OK to be different, and in fact, it’s better to be different. If you look at people like Gandhi and Albert Einstein, these people were first thought to be crazy. I know there are times when I think I’ve gone over the edge creatively. If we want to make a name for ourselves and be noticed, we have to be willing to go places others won’t or haven’t thought of yet. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do the thing you think you can not do.” I believe her message was meant to encourage us to move forward in our lives, to find the courage to do whatever it is we think we cannot and to overcome our self-imposed limitations.
Every time we create a portrait and capture a moment, we have recorded history in a way that will never be forgotten. We are also creating a memory, allowing our subjects to be who they are and feel safe and comfortable in their environment. In doing this, we are creating our own style by the way we interpret that moment. Our eyes, vision, energy, experience and heart are all that we bring to that moment. As I mature as an artist, I find I am more than willing to go to that place I haven’t been to yet and experiment with all the possibilities of discovering something new.
So how do we wrap that all up and send it out in the world as “Branding a Creative Style?” My suggestions are this: Start creating the art in your work and share it and sell it to your clients. Put it up on your walls in your studio, on your website; include it in all your social media outlets. Become “That Photographer.” Start charging more for it. Enter it in Print Competitions, become an award-winning Photographer, write articles for Photography Magazines, send the companies you do business with the images you created with their product.
I will leave you with one last quote to remember: Lead, never follow, never quit, never do the expected, never rest on your laurels, never think great is good enough. Create images with impact and emotion. These are images that will make a difference, so you CAN make a difference and be seen.
About Judy Host
Judy Host has redefined the portrait photography world with her unique talent for capturing the heart and spirit of each individual she photographs and has earned her the respect and recognition of her colleagues. Her photography has been internationally recognized for its innovative style and technique. Recently her work was selected for exhibition in the Valade Family Gallery in Detroit, MI, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA and the Albrecht-Kemper Art Museum in MO. In March 2017, Judy sold her first collection of Ballet images to MGM Resort Int’l for a permanent installation at the Park Theater in Las Vegas, NV. Her collection is the only artwork in the entire building.
Her clients include: InStyle Magazine, Warner Bros., Hollywood Foreign Press, Sigma Photo Corporation, Modern Luxury Magazine, Oursayso London Ad Agency, IHG, MGM Resorts Int’l, Salt Agency/Atlanta and the Atlanta Ballet.