Art, Fine Art Photography, Fine Art Portraits, Photography, Portraits

A Different Clientele

It has been a funny week.  It started off good, that is me photographing my very first client, then I crashed big time as far as self confidence went.  I did the whole questioning of whether or not I am really any good at this stuff, am I kidding myself. I know lots of negative self talk that I should know better than to listen too, but still, it was there.

Then yesterday I went out for the day with my photography friend and she told me that I was too negative, that I needed to start thinking positively otherwise nothing good will happen.  So, I thought, I need to think positive.  I got home to an inquiry about a wedding.  Turns out I may get to shoot a wedding, doing my type of photography.  They already have a photographer for the usual stuff but she really likes what I do so wants me to take some fine art portraits for her.  How exciting.

So a different sort of client than I thought I would get, but I am very happy with it.  I wouldn’t mind doing weddings this way.  There isn’t a lot of pressure on me, so even better.

I have to get going, but thought I would show you one of the photos that I took at the session on Sunday.  Also, not my usual client.  She was older than my usual models, and I had to think differently, but I am happy with what I got in the end and I hope she is too.

Leanne Cole - Taking a MomentFun times ahead, I have a pregnant woman next month, then hopefully the wedding.  I really hope the positive energy I am trying to emit is starting to work.


  1. Leanne, I always like your work, and I like this shot. Good luck with the wedding.

  2. I know just that feeling of having your self-confidence drain when facing a new type of assignment… or feeling a strange combination of scared and excited! However, the thing I remind myself is that these people have looked at our portfolios, they know the type of work we do, and they’ve made their own independent decision to go for it. Therefore, as long as we keep doing what we know to a good standard everything will be just fine :) Best of luck to you – I’m sure your new clients will love your work :)

    • Thank you Justine, that is great to hear, I need that. It is always nerve wracking when you start something new. I will try and remember what you have said.

    • It is one of those logic versus emotion things, you know what I mean. I try not too, but sometimes something happens and you do see that doubt. Thanks Matthew.

  3. Reblogged this on My Choice and commented:
    Every day I’m looking forward! Leanne Cole from Melbourne, Australia is a true photo artist. Sometimes on the ‘dark side’ (the pictures I mean) but always fascinating to see her interpretations!

  4. You have 17,500 people following you what does that tell you?
    Some people will love your work some will hate it. I love it.
    The moment we act on our fear creative process is blocked?
    Keep up the brilliant work.

    • Thank you Trevor, I think having doubts is fairly normal, especially when you are starting something new. I do like what you have said and thank you very much for it.

  5. Hi Leanne,
    I wish those nasty little negative voices came with a mute switch! Just ignore them and enjoy taking on these different creative challenges. Remember, these are clients coming to you because they connect with what you do and that should be confidence building!

    Frankly, I’m envious of your access to people to photograph.

    • I like that idea of the mute switch, how nice would it be. It is confidence building, and I have to admit when I got the email about the wedding inquiry I was over the moon and so happy, it is a great feeling to know that people actually want to pay me money to do what I love doing.
      I have been very lucky, my daughters and their friends have been wonderful sources, and now I am starting to get people who want to pay me as well, that is the best.
      Thanks you so much.

  6. Your doing it and people believe in you! I know how you feel and so I only accept a job here and there! I want to photograph the way I like too! I always get good feedback but feeling comfortable about charging for your passion…… it’s hard to be true to yourself and make a living out of it! Good luck with the wedding! :-)

    • I have to say, I love it that people want to pay for it, makes it so much better, it is like they like it so much they want to pay for it. I also love it that they want me to do what I want, and give them something special, I know I can do that.
      Thank you.

  7. Everyone has moments of self-doubt. Your ideas for the moments after, trying different things and positive energy, seem like a great approach :) I would also like to point out that your images move people, they evoke an emotion. That’s a success many photographers have yet to achieve.

    As for this image, I think it’s nice to see a woman of her age. In fairy tales, there are princesses, hags, and evil queens (nice mom often dies young in the story.) What happens when the princess gets older? When she’s lived and loved and slayed dragons both “real” or personal? Maybe she takes a moment to reflect on what she has learned and can give to the other women in the realm. Such as the assurance that the self-doubt dragons can also be conquered.

    • Thank you Gina, I think I got myself out of the slump well too, though my photography friend really helped a lot.
      That is a lovely thing you have said about the images evoking emotions, thank you so much.

      It was interesting photographing someone older, I knew many of the things that I had been doing wouldn’t work and she would just look silly, so I decided to go for elegance and style. I was really happy with the images, I just have to wait now and see if she is too.
      Thanks again.

  8. Sonel says

    Wow! This is absolutely stunning Leanne! I love it! :D

  9. I love the idea of fine art wedding photos – I think weddings are more personalised nowadays and this is another aspect for people to consider.
    Negativity is the downside of creativity, but I for one love looking at your images!

    • I quite like the idea too, though, I wouldn’t want to be the only photographer, I think having one photographer that does the official photos and then me to do the arty ones would be great.
      Yes, there is something about negativity that always seems to be associated with creativity. Thank you EJ, glad you like looking at the images, let’s hope there will be many many more.

  10. Many Cha Cha Michelle says

    I reckon that if someone chooses you to shoot their wedding then it is a very high compliment indeed. Your photos and your blogging about being a photographer are both very inspiring x

    • Yes, I think you might be right, I should think of it that way. I was a bit worried if I talked about this sort of thing that people wouldn’t like it, might think I am being a whinger, but it is good to see that people like to see the highs and the lows. Thank you so much.

    • Yes Carol, thank goodness, she is a new friend and is so good like that, she tells me what I need to do which is fantastic. Thank you Carol.

  11. Your work is great – don’t doubt yourself. You have a unique style and that should be evident in the recent wedding request you just got. I hope it works out for you. Love the portrait – it’s nice to see an older model since our society is so youth oriented.

    • Thank you Nora, the style is definitely coming, and I do really like where it is going, and that is great. I think it might work out, well I hope it does, it would be a great one to do. I agree about the lady in this portrait, it was a great experience, and I really had to think, but she was great. I just hope she likes the images.

  12. You should continue taking photos the way you do Leanne – it makes you stick out from the crowd. So many people do the ordinary and at times one wants the extraordinary.

    • Thank you Colline, that is so good to hear, I don’t want to be ordinary, never have wanted that. I was told that I am a niche market and that people will find me. Sounds like it might be happening.

      • There is that word again, patient, haha, not good at that, but now that some stuff is starting to happen, I am more than happy to keep going with it all. Thank you Colline, the encouragement means so much.

  13. Leanne – As always – I love this form of art that you add to your photography!
    Best to you with the wedding. I’m sure that will be lots of fun!

    • Thank you RoSy, that is great to hear, I feel I am starting to find my way with it, and really like what is happening.
      The wedding, if it happens, should be brilliant.

  14. A big hug Leanne – we all go through periods of questioning and lack of self-confidence. Every time I paint, I waver for a few minutes – can I do it again, will it be acceptable, what am I doing. It sucks, but I also think that if we use the thoughts to pick through to the positive layers that are in there – we will usually come out in a better place. Your new wedding engagement is a huge positive sign and will open up another whole layer of creativity for you. Your photography is outstanding and is a joy to see how it has evolved – when you waver turn to this post and draw strength from your blogging friends.

    • I think the periods of self doubt are inevitable when you are doing this kind of thing, but it didn’t last long, so that was great. I can remember the feelings lasting a long time, but I do seem to get over it sooner now. I know what you mean about the wavering, I get like that when I do photos for someone, will they like them, have I given them what they were after. Thank you Mary, I do love where it is going and can’t wait to see where it takes me.

  15. You are absolutely right about the negative self-talk and how it can bring you down. I have been there. It can be hard and challenging sometimes to pull yourself out of. But some great supportive friends help a lot. You are very talented! You have helped me see photography in a new way and caused me to think of it differently than I had before. Keep going on and pursuing your dreams! You are an inspiration :)

    • I must say, that I don’t get as stuck down as I used to, and friends are fantastic for helping to pull you through. I am trying to find a mantra to keep saying to myself to keep myself positive. That is such a lovely thing to say, thank you so much Wayne.

  16. Hello Leanne. Thank you for being so honest and sharing how you’re doing. I think every creative person goes through moments of self-doubt. This past year I played violin at a professional level and I have never questioned myself so much as I did during that time. I was working so hard I thought my fingers were going to fall off from playing so much and had a nerve pinched in my neck from practicing. I decided not to quit though and that’s one thing I would pass on to anyone. If you keep pushing through, even when you don’t feel like you’re ‘enough,’ you will arrive at one point. I have talked to other creative people about this issue and you’d be shocked at how many incredibly talented, successful people go through these moments. I hope that’s encouraging. The fact that so many people enjoy visiting your blog and viewing your images is a testament to your talent. Keep it up!

    • I think you are right on about this. It is something that all creative people go through, and it is hard to not listen to it. I also don’t ever want to get into a position that I think I am that great that everyone will love what I do, I think having the moments of negativity can be good because, as you said, makes you work harder. Makes you want to get better. Thank you for telling me your story, that was great to hear. Thank you for the support, it is fantastic.

  17. Tricia SweetRascalPhotos says

    Good luck with the upcoming wedding Leanne, I can’t wait to see how those photos turn out, what a fun idea. I think you did a lovely shot of this equally lovely model.

    • Thank you Tricia, it should be a great experience. I think that shot of the model is probably my favourite of her.

  18. I konw what it’s like to lose confidence once in awhile. I am a fine art photographer in Columbus, OH, USA, and am just starting out. It’s hard to always be positive, especially when I see another artist’s work that seems brilliant to me and I feel so inadequate, but I have to remember that I am doing what I love and I love what I create. What one of your readers said was true, that these people have seen your portfolio and know your work. If you keep doing what you do, they will be happy! Good luck and could you give me advice on how to get so many followers? Thanks:)

    • That is it exactly, I see others work, and think the same. I think we are always more critical of our own work. I want to be successful at this, so I am pushing quite hard, but there is always those thoughts that maybe I am not good enough.
      You are right, she did say she wants me because she likes my work, so that has to be positive. Thank you Angie. To get lots of followers, I don’t know, look at lots of blogs and do things that people will like. I don’t know really know, sorry.

  19. I love this photo. The colours are great and you’ve captured a lovely pensive look on this lady’s face, she also looks very lovely and elegant. Well done and keep going. X

    • Thank you Avril, I like how you have described it, it was hard photographing her, not because she was difficult, but I knew she would be very critical about how she would look in the photos. So I am pleased that you said that.

  20. I think this portrait is wonderful. May not be your usual client, but, she chose you. Positivity attracts great things. Stay positive! I can’t wait to see what you do for the wedding.

    • I will do my best with the positive thoughts, I should go back to doing to the affirmations. Thank you, she did choose me and chose me because she liked my style, and I should remember that.

  21. Must be the phase of the moon..I was having a similar “self-doubt” conversation with a staff member yesterday – she and another department employee are very talented artists, but also self-limited by listening to that little voice we all hear. While it is good to have this voice to limit our hubris, the doubting voice should not be able to scream louder than our talent! You do have talent and a vision – keep shooting!

    • That little voice can be destructive, someone earlier said it should have a mute switch, how good would that be? Thank you Robert, I will keep shooting.

  22. I know what you mean about self doubt – but what the hell, we’ve only got one life and it’s ours! I tend to go for a full blooded rendition of ‘I did it my way’ – quietly so no one else can hear of course :D

    • I like that, I can hear the song in my head now. I am trying to come up with a mantra that I can use and say over and over. Whatever helps right? Thanks Noeline.

    • ann perrin says

      If negative thoughts come into your mind train them to come in through your right ear, consider very briefly if they have anything useful to contribute to your well being and then send them gently floating out of your left ear….All artists are vulnerable which is partly what makes us so creative.
      Your work is lovely! You are already successful!
      On networks I know someone who prints a few examples of his work and hires a stall in a market once in a while I know someone else who offers to do talks to camera clubs but takes a few mounted prints to sell. Yes, always have your business card handy.
      But with the few friends I have, I prefer friends to be just that… friends. Good luck and thankyou for being such a regular viewer of my blog . Annx

      • I like that idea, very much. Thank you Ann.
        I find that camera clubs are preaching to the converted, so to speak, I need to network to my intended clientele, so I have a few ideas that I am slowly putting into motion.Thanks for the ideas though, it is always good to get new ones.
        I have to say I am the same with my friends, but they can help you out, that I don’t have a problem with.

  23. Great portrait. You can feel your passion in the work you do and the words you use.

    • Thank you Phill, I am very passionate about my work, and I am really glad that you can get that through my writing.

  24. mkriegh says

    Positive thoughts really do help:-) Good luck and keep them going!

  25. IJW Photography says

    This is a fantastic portrait with great light and lovely background. Good luck with your future work.

    • Thank you, I was happy with it, I have tried to shoot on overcast days, but it isn’t always possible, so I have to learn how to deal with the sun.

  26. Leanne, your work is wonderful, and I think most artists always have that self doubt – it keeps you on your toes, reevaluating your purpose and striving to evolve. I love the above portrait – she looks beautiful. Ditto to all that has been said above.

    • YOu are so right, it does keep us evolving and changing, which has to be good, I never want to be one of those artists that just do that same thing forever. I hope she feels the same way about her portrait, I know she likes a couple of them. I think this might be one of them. Thank you so much.

  27. I too have negative thought days. I’m glad I know other photographers feel the same. And something does always happen to make you keep going! Keep it up you work is unique.

    • I think we all do, it is part of the creative process, always worried that others won’t like what we do. You are right, something always seems to happen that reinforces what you are doing. Thank you Sundog.

      • I agree completely with you and Sundog on both points. Here is an excerpt from another post I re-blogged recently on surrendering to the creative process by blogger Munchow: ” I believe that any artist at some point will doubt his or her artwork. Again and again we see this. Paul Cézanne, for example, strongly believed that he was discovering and painting a new form of space which would radically influence the future of art, yet he was filled with painful and ever-present doubt at the same time. The reality is that creative commitment is healthiest not when it’s without doubt, but in spite of doubt. In other words, we need to accept our own doubts about what we are doing, and still keep doing it.” Now when I am filled with doubt, I am going to try to remember this. Your work is really, really good Leanne, so just keep doing what you’re doing :)

      • I love that quote, it is so spot on, and I think so many artists do have similar things. I always worry whether my work is too amateurish, or if I am just kidding myself with what I am doing, so I really appreciate what you have said and written, thank you very much.

  28. Tracy says

    This is a wonderful shot, be positive, your very creative and I like your style.

  29. Everyone has crises of confidence from time to time…you can work through it, I’m sure. Your work is good, and getting better all the time. :)

    • Thank you Marie, the support I have got from everyone has been so wonderful. I think it is getting better too, I am really looking forward to seeing where the work goes in the future.

  30. isn’t the WP community just THE Best!
    surround yourself in and with the positive
    keep @ a moment’s reach those things
    which lift your spirits
    in your pocket, in a drawer, on a counter, in the car,
    a bit of nature, the aromas of satiety. hide n seek
    with the word smile, little post its, in the utensil drawer,on the
    rubber band box. when I turned on my fone ..its the first
    word I see.

    • Thank you, the WP community is an amazing place and the people are so wonderful. There is always encouragement and kindness, and I do love that.
      Great comment, I just want to keep reading and reading it, I might have to write it in my notebook.

      • You’re so very welcome, Leanne. I ended up in an emotional funk early this afternoon. But, I took my own advice and now that its evening, the funky blues are far behind me.

      • It good when you can do that, I am getting better at it, just every now and then something will really get me down, but again, it doesn’t last too long.

  31. Hi Leanne,

    I love the new photo. And fine art wedding photography seems brilliant for you. I would think there’d be a lot of bread and butter there and you won’t have to compromise, instead you’ll get to further develop your skills.

    My friend from Australia was visiting last week. She’s an artist and she was very impressed with your print.

    Your friend is right about positive thinking. It does help. I have little tricks. But sometimes I don’t realize I’m having a negative thought. I’ve learned to say it out loud, kind of talk through what’s bothering me and talk to my husband and it gets turned into a soluble problem instead of “I’ll never write another good story.” (LOL… ridiculous, except when I’m in the grip of it.) Like the other night a low grade worry I was having turned into major anxiety. So, over a gigantic bowl of frozen yogurt and candy (chocolate really does help calm the nerves), I discussed it with my husband and it turned out that my concern about my work in progress was legitimate. (The tone was off and there wasn’t a good hook at the start.) We figured out how to fix it and I started over. It’s working now.

    And I have writing friends who help me get back to confidence in myself.

    So, what I’m saying is, remember to reach out to your friends because we can’t be always positive all the time in a vacuum and also, sometimes a negative thought can be your mind trying to tell you something is off. Then you can talk it through with a trusted adviser and figure out what you need to change.

    I think the blogging and web sites are: a lot out, a little in. Maybe it takes time, maybe you don’t see immediate, numerous or obviously connected results, but they do happen and they wouldn’t happen if you weren’t show-casing your work. You never know what’s going to lead to what!



    • I quite like the idea of Fine Art wedding photography, though if I get this job I will be a second or third photography so my only role will be to get art images, I like that, I like that a lot. I could do stuff like that, it could be really good. As you said something new to develop for my skill set.

      That is fantastic, I do love that print.

      Your husband sounds great, mine is hopeless for that kind of thing. He doesn’t really like my photography, so I don’t get that kind of support from him. I do have friends that are great for it though, so I usually turn to them. I was down the other night because I put some photos into a photography competition and the results were pretty crap. I think in the end I decided that I shouldn’t enter photography comps, my work is art and they are the type of comps I should be looking for. Sometimes it is just about redirection.

      I will reach out to my friends next time, you can expect an email now. YOu are most definitely one of them.

      That is so true about websites and blogs, you have to have the work out there, so far, both of those have been relatively positive which is great. I need to get out further though.

      Thanks again Nia, always great to hear from you.

      • Hi Leanne,

        Thank you, I am so honored that you feel that way. Write to me any time!

        I agree the key with the wedding photography is to be specialized just on the art portraits. That’s a good role. Taking all the photos, that’s not you. It’s another art, but not yours, I think!

        As for the comps, I enter them from time to time. It’s important to blow it off if the feedback is negative. That’s not always easy. Sometimes I just set it all aside in an envelope and forget about it. I enter them to try to get some wins for my credits and to get in front of editors and agents when I final.

        I find the similarities in what we go through interesting. I want to interview you for my Inside the Mind of the Artist series, if you are up for it.

        As for my hubby, yes, he’s cool, loves art and books. He is really looking forward to meeting you!


      • I will take you up on that, especially now that we are friends on facebook, we can chat.

        I really don’t like taking photos of people smiling at the camera, I just can’t do it, I love doing the fine art ones so much more. So it could be really good for me.

        Ah yes, competitions, I think many of them are not worth entering, and you have to be selective, especially when they start asking for entry money.

        Would love to be interviewed by you, how would we do it.
        I am really looking forward to meeting you both and can’t decide where I will take you, so many choices.

      • We’ll do the interview via email! I’m so glad you want to do it. Maybe we’ll do a couple, one before we meet and one when we meet but if I don’t get to it before then, definitely when we meet. I’m doing another interview tomorrow, another writer.

  32. Stick at it Leanne. As you said recently, a lot of people seem to like your new ‘style’. But it will take a while for that to migrate to people who want their wedding, or just their portraits, done in this style, so glad to hear you’ve maybe got your first. Maybe you need to put a couple of ‘straight’ weddings in the archive together with some of the ‘new’, then the happy couple wouldn’t think they need two photographers.

    • Thank you grumpy tyke, I think you might be right, I can see things slowly starting to happen, so hopefully eventually I will get lots more. The wedding is interesting, but I really don’t want to do straight wedding shots, I just don’t do very well at those, but I will see what happens, I am more interesting in the portraits.

  33. You take great photographs, and you’ll do well with whatever type of client you photograph. You’re quite good, so if you do what you already do well, you’ll no doubt be in demand soon!

    • I hope so Becky, it is a strange thing, I have lots of people telling me how good my photography is, but not many people who want to pay for it. I need to find those people who want to pay for what I do. I am slowly starting, but hopefully it will improve. Thank you.

  34. Lovely photograph. You captured a moment of yesteryear.
    Keep doing what you do. Be you! :)

    • Thank you Kait, I was really happy with this shot, I got some others that also showed a similar feeling, I might have to put them up.

  35. Very excellent work, Leanne…the colors contrast wonderfully with each other, giving the image a richness. Had her hair been plaited, she would look like roaylty from the 16th or 17th century…simply lovely!

    • Thank you 1000, I was happy with the shoot, I think she really enjoyed it too, she didn’t like being photographed, so giving her roles was fantastic.

      • I hope so 1000, things are happening very slowly. Time will tell, but the early signs are certainly positive.

      • Remember who won when the tortoise raced with the hare?

        Just take it as it comes, Leanne, and it certainly will–showing that all your hard work does pay off!

      • I am happy that things are actually happening which is far better than other things I have tried, so it is very promising. I am trying to put out lots of positive energy for this, so I hope it works.
        I will take it as it comes, I am really happy with how it is going so far, and lots of new work is coming up, so that is great.

      • I feel it’s going to be a busy year ahead for you, Leanne…and when you’re really working hard, that’s when you’re at your most creative!

      • Thank you, I have a feeling it will be just as you have said. I really have a good feeling about this.

  36. Photography has an obsessional, narcissistic, ecstatic character. It is a solitary activity. The photographic image is irreparable, as irreparable as the state of things at a particular moment. All retouching, all repentance, has, like all posing, an abominably aesthetic character. The solitude of the photograph subject in space and time is correlative with the solitude of the subject and its temperamental silence.

    Words from Jean Baudrillard state an opinion that the subject of the photograph is in control of the photographer rather than vice versa. A point he further expands on-

    Where does the objective magic of photography come from? The answer is that it is the object which does all the work. Photographers will never admit it, and always argue that all the originality lies in their vision of the world. This is how they take photos which are too good, confusing their subjective vision with the reflex miracle of the photographic act.

    The argument here can be extended to question as to the awareness of the object that it is existing at all? The photographer at least can see the potential of a subject even though that subject generally has to maintain some reality to be recognisable to the viewer of the image. The reasons for even considering post modern ideas, such as those expounded on by Baudrillard, come from belonging to a camera club where ones efforts can be critically analysed in competition; the variable responses from judges always make me think “why did I take the picture?” The thought process activated by this question usually takes me to ask “what is reality, is it my idea or theirs?”; which moves on then to the philosophical, ontological thinking:- is being a manifestation of something or nothing? After all this mentally disturbing rambling, photography still comes down to the action of – I came, I saw, I snapped.

    • Interesting ideas there, though I think I disagree with the idea that the subject is in control of the image, it doesn’t really explain how two photographers can photograph the same thing and both get different visions from it. Thanks

      • I think the argument moves us to think about the ontological premise on being. If the subject didn’t exist then the image could not be captured. If you didn’t have a camera would you draw with a charcoal stick?

  37. Good old self-doubt That’s what always slows me down with every great idea I come up with. Coming from a doubter of sorts – take this advise. Don’t doubt; just do!

    • Oh yes the self-doubt, I have so much of that right now. It comes and goes. I will see if I can take your advice, :) Thank you.

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