I once had a professor who told me to always think like a child. Out of all the things I learned during my university days, I took these simple words of wisdom and carried them through my years as a professional photographer.
Children get excited about the smallest things; they see life innocently and they don’t have filters. As they grow and mature, they adapt their thinking and perspectives based on parental principles and societal pressures.
They learn to judge, to hate, to see a cloud as a cloud – not as a big, roaring lion or a unicorn floating in a sky. Things become “normal” and nothing is as exciting as it once was.
I think my professor was onto something when he compared artists to children. We must keep our innocence – in both our vision and our thoughts. Our thoughts carry over to our vision; our vision creates our photographs; our photographs should show others something that they don’t ‘normally’ see.
If you want to think normal, be normal. But you’ll only get normal results. The definition of normal is average, conforming to a standard; usual, typical, expected.
Do you think clients want to hire a ‘normal, average, standard’ photographer?
I believe the answer is a resounding, NO. Instead of conforming to normalcy or standardization, we must go back to the basics. Become child-like, train our eyes to see things for the first time, to stop and smell the roses. See life as though you’ve never seen anything beautiful before. You don’t need your camera in-hand to practice. Just train your eye to see these things – don’t rely on the camera.
If your work has become normal or average, or if you’re feeling burned out or bored with it, maybe it’s because you feel it has become average and unexciting. The best way to become excited about photography again is by seeing from a new perspective – a childlike perspective. I challenge you to take this chance…and be amazed again.
About Leigh Ann
Leigh Ann discovered her passion for photography at a young age and pursued photography on a competitive and professional level while attending the University of Alabama. It didn’t take long until she was shooting and assisting alongside world-renowned professionals who have worked for TIME, PEOPLE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, SOUTHERN LIVING among others. In 2004, Leigh Ann graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in studio art and journalism. Since then she has had many opportunities to live, explore and photograph all over the world. Her travels have taken her to Alaska, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, Turkey, Italy, Austria, Germany, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia, and throughout the continental U.S. Soon realizing her lifestyle and goals revolved around her love of travel and photography, she incorporated L.A. Photography, LLC. Her work appears in local, national and international publications and is described as fine-art documentary portraiture.