I often find that photographers feel that they have to set boundaries between their personal style and their client work.
So often you may overthink your sessions and try to decipher what the client might want as opposed to what moves you, the artist. In the process of trying to figure out how to please your client versus what you see and feel it’s easy to lose your voice and style. Your clients choose you for your unique qualities; your style is what differentiates you from one photographer to the next.
From my perspective, there is absolutely no reason your client work has to be any different, or more “polished” for that matter, than your personal work. Your personal work comes from your heart, doors open when you accept that and find comfort and confidence in it.
What would you like to hang on your wall? What details would you want to capture if it were your child, or your family? When you’re feeling moody, shoot moody, when you come across an out of focus image that moves you, include it in the client’s gallery.
Let go of the “rules” and let your artistic voice take the lead. I think when we do this as photographers we reach a new level of greatness, and a level of confidence you may not have known you had.
When you bring the approach and style of your personal shooting into your client shooting things unfold organically. You spend less time thinking and more time feeling and just shooting. This goes with both shooting and editing. It’s so important to put aside what you think the client would want and to trust in your own voice.
For me, personally, I started out shooting for myself and took on clients later. For awhile I would catch myself worrying about rules and forcing moments that weren’t actually going to happen effortlessly. I would edit the session and think that I was missing something, and I was. Once I let go of the little things that were weighing me down I felt free to explore and free to create. That was when I found my personal work and client work merged seamlessly together, and I felt the freedom to create what I “felt” and not what I “thought.”
Finding your voice is a long journey; it does not happen over night and it takes much trial and error. If you let yourself make mistakes, and push yourself to try new things both in your personal work and your client work you will improve. You will grow. Be true to yourself through and through and greatness will ensue.