One of the most confusing journeys as a new photographer is finding your “style”—that indefinable but recognizable quality in your work. Finding it means looking at other photographers’ work, trying things for yourself, deciding what works for you and what doesn’t. One of the most interesting photographers we encountered on our journey was Sam Hurd. He seemed to embody the idea of photographic “style.” Amidst a sea of photographers in the wedding industry, Sam’s work has always stood out to us as both different and recognizably his. Of course we jumped at the opportunity to learn from him when he scheduled one of his “The Epic” workshops here in Durham.
Throughout the day we had the opportunity to learn about all aspects of Sam’s photography work: his background, philosophy, business management, equipment, editing workflow, and even how he goes about photographing his sessions with couples during a live demo in downtown Durham. We loved having the opportunity to learn about his unique approach to his work. We were grateful to be able to spend a whole day observing and thinking about how we can use his approach and style, which is so distinct from our own, to gain a new perspective on our own work and challenge us to think differently about photography.
We’ll be spending the holidays playing with some of his go-to techniques: holding prisms and phone screens up to our lens, framing epic wide-angle portraits, and even flipping out our live-view screen for new and different angles. Maybe these will become part of our repertoire and maybe they won’t, but either way we feel lucky to have had the opportunity to be inspired to step out of our comfort zone to both expand and refine our sense of great and beautiful photography.
Special thanks to Sam Hurd for putting on an amazing workshop, local photographer and educator Mark Maya for helping to organize the event, Jenn Aan and Jimmy Beech of Halftone Studios for modeling during the live shoot, Makeup for Your Day for doing their makeup, and of course, all of the amazing photographers that we got to share this exciting experience with!
Check out more of our work at our website!