Who Do You Shoot For?

Who do you shoot for?  Do you shoot for yourself and your family?  Or do you shoot for your blog?  For other photographers?

It’s so easy when you’re starting out to obsess over other photographers work.  To wish you were someone else.  Don’t.  Trust me.  Been there.  Done that.  Don’t waste time comparing your work to that of other photographers.  Don’t strive to be like other photographers.  Strive to be yourself.  To find your own style.  Don’t be the next _______ (insert the name of big photographer here).  Be you.  Shoot what you love.  Who you love.

If you are a professional photographer, shoot for your clients.  Don’t shoot to get featured on some blog.  Tell your clients stories.  Put yourself in their shoes.  What would you want to remember about your family at that very point in time?  10, 20, 30 years from now they won’t remember what blog their session was featured on.  Or how many comments were left on their blog post.  But, they will be able to look back at the pictures you took for them and be able to remember the love they were feeling for their family at that time.

Don’t waste time wanting to be like someone else when you can be you.  And you are rad!


  1. Kristin says

    Thank you for this post! It completely validated the reason I started my blog, the reason I love photography-to document the big things, the little things, and all in between. Those things? My life, my loves…my family. I’ve had a passion for writing since I was a little girl. I’ve got stacks of journals that could wallpaper a bathroom. What better way to feed my soul, than to share with others what I know and value more than anything in the world. My comments, sporadic, my followers short of 40. 40 or 400, I blog for me, shoot for me, and for the gift of words and memories I hope to pass along to my children. Do I dream of the images of others that I might be able to create such art? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I’d be fooling myself if I said that I don’t follow professional photography blogs (way too many) or like them on their Facebook page. Am I continuously in awe? Inspired? Absolutely. Still, I’ve learned that when I write for those I love, capture the images of those I love in such a way that is purely for love, that is where my best truly shines.

  2. AMEN!!!!! That is SUCH good advice! Even being a professional photographer…I have to remember just to take pictures of my daughter, without trying to make a ‘shoot’ out of it. I want to remember it all…and that means shooting even when the light is bad, the outfit is gross, etc. Thank you for the reminder!

  3. Marisa says

    Great post – I am SO bad at remembering this sometimes. I agree with what Candice posted. I’m just a hobby photographer, but I often get so frustrated that my photos don’t look like what I see on blogs. I forget that 1) I’m comparing my SOOC with a post-processed blog shot and 2) snapshots are awesome too. I think I need to engrave #2 on the back of my camera somewhere!

    Also, that is SUCH a cute pic with the shirt and the chubby legs!!!

  4. Hannah says

    I needed this post right now. Thank you!
    Hannah´s last blog post ..You Can Run

  5. Lacey says

    I have been coming across this message a lot lately and it is SO important and really hits home. Thank you, Drew, for this reminder. :)
    Lacey´s last blog post ..Five on Friday

  6. Jamie says

    OMG, that photo of B!!!! Cracks me up. Love him and his little chunks that don’t exist anymore. :(

  7. Loved this post Drew… thanks!
    Bobbie Brown´s last blog post ..Ally

  8. Carey says

    Yes. yes yes yes. I certainly shoot for me. But I wish I could dismiss once and for all the desire for acknowledgement from others. I wish I could move to a perfect place where I didn’t care and didn’t fear being the one others laugh at. Thanks for further wisdom to let it all go and just be me and be happy with my tiny corner of the world. I keep asking myself, what’s my true motivation. I don’t know that my head and my heart have the same answers.
    Carey´s last blog post ..Spunk

  9. Makila says

    You don’t know how much this post meant to me. I often get so very discouraged when I see other photographers work. I compare and think my work isn’t good enough. I think I should “quit” and give up because I can’t measure up (in my eyes) to others. Thank you for reminding me to strive to be myself. Really, thank you so very much.

  10. I’m always looking for the perfect shot and miss so much while I am. Thanks!

    Jenna@CallHerHappy´s last blog post ..7 Quick Takes (Vol. 1)

  11. Jaimi says

    Well said. We ALL need to hear that. I feel I should print this message to put it in my camera bag. I can read it every time I take the camera out and shoot my kids and family without any pressure to match my style or expertise with professional photographers. I am not a professional. I don’t want to be a professional. Sure, I want to continue improving, but ultimately I want to shoot for me. Thanks Drew!

  12. Josselyne says

    At this very moment I was getting frustrated and over thinking everything. Actually comparing my work and thinking low of my work. I asked God why.. I then decided to stop thinking.. and just get lost in my emails.. came across yours.. THANK YOU FOR YOUR MESSAGE.. very timely.. and God used you to get the point across to me… Lets not forget why we started taking pics on the first place.. the love for the moment and the art.THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSS
    Josselyne´s last blog post ..Gallery

  13. Kelly says

    Definitely a reminder I needed today. Thanks!

  14. So guilty of what you talk about in the first paragraph. In fact, I just went from facebook to this page (after doing that very same thing and feeling yucky). I don’t do it often, but sometimes I catch myself. And then I see this post. Thanks, Drew. Perfect timing!

  15. Rhyah says

    What a great post! I love, love, love this – especially as someone who is just learning, trying to find my style and of course comparing myself to others! :)
    Rhyah´s last blog post ..Welcome!

  16. Ekta says

    Thanks so much Drew. My kiddos have been keeping me so busy that I havent had a chance to get behind the lense. I took some pics a few wks ago but not where I want to be in my photography practice. I needed this today while surfing photographers blogs :) Thanks for the inspiration. Will pass this along to other photography lovers.

  17. Dana says

    Oh my gosh – I already know I love your pics – but seriously I have to comment on that shirt. I think I want one that says “My kids think I’m RAD.” Swoon!
    Dana´s last blog post ..Disneyland Photography – The (Really) Short Guide

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