Thursday, May 6, 2010

Great Insight

We had an excellent guest speaker in class the other night. Fashion photographer John Aigner ( shared his thoughts on entering the world of fashion photography. He talked about how he made the most of his days at OCC and showed us his website. John splits his time between shooting in the U.S. and Europe. He has been on Germany's Next Top Model. As you can imagine, it was wonderful to get the perspective of a young, hip, fashion photographer. One thing John touched on that resonated with me was that you need to shoot what and how you love. In other words, if you favor big, elaborately lit scenes, then that is what you should focus your energies on. If you connect more with the intimacy of daylight through a window, then hone your skills on becoming great at that. Its through doing what you enjoy that you inevitably find your style and set yourself apart from other photographers. And this is what gets you hired. Art directors do not hire you to duplicate the work of someone else. They pay you to give them what it is that you do. There is a reason that they choose you over everyone else. They want your style, your eye, your art. Very sound advice.
To top it all off, John critiqued our editorials. This was a welcome change of pace. Instead of commenting on each others work as a class, John gave us feedback, completely unaware of who's work was who's. He encouraged me to play around even more with a particular lighting style (natural light with the background flared). His biggest criticism was that my images were not completely cohesive, they looked like they could be from different shoots. I would have to agree, but also admit that given what I set out to accomplish, I am extremely proud of the end result.
All in all, it was an outstanding evening. One from which I take valuable words of wisdom and advice. It was also awesome to hear that this accomplished photographer considers the photography school at OCC to be a top five program in the country. Not to shabby.

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