Recently I read a great post by Gail Mooney which she titled Don’t re-invent yourself. In it she criticizes the current buzz phrase to “re-invent yourself”.
I too don’t really like that expression. It implies that there is something wrong with the way you are right now, and you had better change yourself to keep up with your peers, competition, industry, etc. Sure it’s a good idea to keep learning about new technologies in imaging so your craftsmanship will remain sharp and capable. However, much better advice I think, is to re-discover the person behind those tools and skills. Otherwise you are just following trends.
Arnold Newman put it nicely when he said “We don’t take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds.”
As image makers, each of us is a unique combination of heart and mind which uses those tools. Listen to your heart and soul, do some self-reflection, and work to discover more about yourself. Try looking at some of your old work, as I recently did and found this image from a long time ago when I didn’t care very much about trends or popular expressions.