Shoot Who You Are

When I first started to research photography I was impressed by every image I saw, it didn't matter the genre of photography, the level of composition, editing, and perspective that people were able to display just overwhelmed me. I tried to implement every style I came across, which was hard to do considering I looked at several images every day. I started off adding a shit ton of clarity in Lightroom, it looked so good, bringing out those details in the picture, it was almost HDR like! Then I learned the rest of the world hated that, so I went towards something else. VSCO presets were the IN thing at the time, so, of course, I started to use those (I actually still do). I later read that cropping was wrong, so I started to crop in camera, then I read that cropping in camera was a bad idea because you might crop too tight, so I stopped doing that... Overall it was just a lot of back and forth, and it made photography a job vs me just getting out there and having fun.

Canon 6D, 40mm f/2.8 @ f/7.1

I think when I started to shoot with prime lenses the idea of replicating someone else's style was tossed out of the window. I had to compose based on the distance of my subject. It was the beginning of my style, which can't be defined, but I know it was my style because I shot what was appealing to me, not what I thought would appeal to other people, things started to flow and not feel as forced.

After that I just took each day as it came, when I walked the streets distinct people or events would just call out to me, I never knew why, I never explained them, I just took them, and when I went back and looked at them, they simply just spoke to me.

What caught my attention was the difference in moods. It seemed late last year that my images were of happier moments, while todays images are a darker, the subjects are isolated and displayed in more depressed manner. It's an exact reflection of my own personal feelings, I realized that my style is just shooting who I am, at any given moment, that's what yields me the best image, and it's going to be the difference maker between my picture, and the thousand of others out there.

Next time you go for a photowalk, just shoot who you are that day, look for moments that replicate your exact feelings as you're pressing that shutter, the picture will have a much powerful meaning to it, and you'll be able to showcase it like no other picture, simply because it has a deeper connection.

-KeenanRIVALS
keenan@RIVALSvs.com

Patreon is a platform allowing you to support creators and artists by pledging a small amount of money every month. This will make it possible for me to continue to make content and explore my creative ideas.

Patreon is a platform allowing you to support creators and artists by pledging a small amount of money every month.

This will make it possible for me to continue to make content and explore my creative ideas.