As creatives we are often told we need to do x,y, and z in order to be successful. It can make our creativity feel stifled as we try to live up to the expectations of others who have success. As we grow and learn to work within the fashion and art industries, we go through several phases in developing our style all the while trying to get as much work as we can to earn a sustainable income from our love to create beauty. It is also likely we are offering many other types of creative services as we get established, and might even despise it a little bit.

If you are a photographer you probably started out pursuing a career in wedding photography, fine art, or portraiture, but your true calling was fashion and beauty. You may have felt you had to start within those genres of photography because it is easier to make money and is far less competitive. But something was missing. If you were anything like me you may have then tried to make the work you were doing more fashion inspired, like doing stylized wedding portraiture or fashion inspired senior portrait sessions. Still, that was just not quite right. And now all your clientele, though wonderful, is just not quite the clientele you want to work with. Looking around you feel the weight of making sure the revenue keeps flowing; you don’t want to lose access to the clients you have already established a relationship with. It took a lot of work to get where you are, after all.

So now what?

We are often looking for permission to let our vision shine through our work. Well, you don't need permission. You have the right to be you and to create your art. Sure, as you transition some existing clients may leave because your style no longer matches theirs. You may find it harder to find work in your niche, at first. However, with time, your new clients will find you and you will be a part of a tribe that is more in line with who you are as a creative as well as who you are a person. And let me tell you, that is one of the best feelings in the world!


Look at your existing work. Is there anything that you love? If the answer is yes, make more of that. Explore why those creative moments bring you joy. If your answer is no, take some time to look at the work of others and get inspired. Think about who you want to be as a creative. And ask yourself:

Who do I want to hire me?
Who do I want to work with?
What mood(s) and themes do I want to showcase?
What story am I wanting to tell?
Where do I want to be published?

Then take those answers and start creating! Shoot a portfolio that is what you want and only share those images on your website, your social media, et cetera. You may still get clients that are wanting something that you used to create, but as you start sharing only what you want to do, naturally people will start to look to you for that type of work.When you are hired by clients that are not inline with the work you wish to book in the future, take a couple shots for your new portfolio or ask the photographer if they are willing to do so. This will allow you to build your portfolio while still booking clients that will pay the bills until you have established yourself in the facet of the industry you would truly like to work. It does take time to both build that portfolio and the clientele, but you won’t get there without starting and there is no better time than now to begin this journey to creative bliss.