Why Photographers Shouldn’t Let Trends Define Their Work

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Keeping up with wedding photography trends can be exhausting. Today, it’s destinations and vintage, but who knows where we’ll be by mid-summer? The real question is: should we care?

During WPPI 2014 in Las Vegas, CreativeLive Editorial Manager Whitney Ricketts sat down with award-winning wedding photographer Susan Stripling to discuss what role — if any — trends play in her process.

“I don’t want my work to be trendy; I want it to be timeless,” Susan succinctly explained, adding that she does not pay attention to what’s rising and falling. With trends, Susan said, you only have two options — to follow them or set them. Those who set trends and have a portfolio full of consistent, great work might become trailblazers, but the rest just become followers who strive to be the best copycats in the field.

What Susan doesn’t understand is why people don’t dedicate more time to defining their own style and honing their fundamental skills. “I like to know what’s going on in the industry, but I also just don’t care – for me it’s about going out and refining skills,” says Susan.

So should you stay up on those trends? According to Susan, yes –  just don’t follow them. What Susan’s full interview here:

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Topher Kelly is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor at CreativeLive. Follow Topher on Twitter@Topher_LIVE.