My turning point

What do I consider to be “my turning point“, as a photographer?

As a lifestyle and portrait photographer, I remember being very frustrated by the different boxes in which we are used to put photographers. “Oh you are a wedding photographer, so you can not shoot fashion”, or “You are a lifestyle photographer, you can’t shoot in a studio”. I was told that my portfolio was not enough “this” and too much of “that”. It is frustrating to not fit in. Then, I remember being even more frustrated by all the different types of photo shoots that exist. Boudoir, lifestyle, wedding, maternity, corporate, head shots, fashion… and people telling you that you have to find your niche. You should be very good at one type of photography and stick to it.

Well, I am very good at photographing people, especially women, and when they come to me for a photo shoot, they want many different things. My clients want a boudoir shoot, but not too sexy… they want a glamour shoot but not too fashion… Women want to feel beautiful but they don’t want just a headshot… they want you to direct them but they are not professional models… they want amazing pictures of themselves but they don’t feel like they deserve it because apart from engagement shoots, wedding photos, maternity photos and family photos, society tells them that they can not give themselves the gift of a very selfish photo shoot (except for a boudoir shoot but only for Valentine’s Day and to please their husband).

THIS was my turning point. This is when I realized that the boxes are everywhere, even in the photography world. We tell people that they have to fit in a box while we should teach them how to express themselves freely. So, that’s when I decided to create “The Truth in you”, a photo shoot which allows my client to define what she wants for her photo shoot. No limitation, no barrier, no box… and no specific reason to book me. My turning point was that exact moment, when I realized that we are the ones responsible for the fences we decide to put around our OWN work. No one can define what we are and what we do, unless we let them do it for us.

This question is part of a series of talks started in the Tribe Red Leaf group. Feel free to join!

turning point edmonton lifestyle portrait photographer

Image of the beautiful Tamsen edited with ELMT Water 04 from Tribe Red Leaf.



  • Melanie said:

    There is so much truth in your words Em. We make the boundaries that we decide to live inside of... but we can also move them and adjust them. So proud if you for seeing that & making your own damned rules!

  • Kara said:

    Wow! I can't even tell you how much I love this! You are so right when you say we define what we are and what we do. That's a really powerful statement. what an incredible turning point and an amazing way to celebrate women loving themselves.

  • Kelsie said:

    So true! Such a refreshing read, thank you!