Style & Voice: My Workshop Review by Jessica Holden

July 16, 2014 12:00 pm - Published by The Photographer Within - 1 Comment
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Jessica Holden originally published this on her blog after the winter run of Lynne Rigby’s Style and Voice.  Class begins on Monday and there are just a few seats left; you can learn more and register here.

Style & Voice, My Workshop Review
by Jessica Holden

This spring I took a class called Style & Voice from the amazing Lynne Rigby at The Photographer Within. It was wonderful and intense: It’s all about narrowing down who you are as a photographer and what you want to portray with your work. I think my style is pretty fully defined already (maybe even too much so ;-P), but in retrospect what I needed from this class was to learn to accept my voice. I have long held this suspicion that my work is so “pretty” that maybe I will never be taken seriously as a photographer, and I’ve wondered if I should try to dig deeper somehow. Be more dark and dramatic and moody and intense.

But what I am coming to terms with is that I want to shoot pretty. The reasons are highly emotional and personal, but I realize that I yearn to preserve the parts of our life, both simple and grand, that I am most grateful for. I love the soft and feminine. I want to savor and immortalize the happiness. Of course our life isn’t all light-filled and gleeful all the time and I don’t mean to imply by my work that it is; sadness creeps into our world like it does for everyone. But I don’t want to commemorate the darkness; I want to embrace the joy. When I am listening to iTunes on the Apple TV and my flickr set is flashing onscreen, I see images that remind me of the life I love. They bring me joy. And that’s what I am after.

Finding photographic stylePhotographic Style and VoicePhotographic Style and VoicePhotographic Style and VoicePhotographic Style and VoiceFind my photography style


So though I am sure my voice will continue to evolve as I grow and learn, I am determined to stop worrying about whether my work will ever mean anything to anyone or if it’s “too pretty,” and just shoot what moves me the most. Photography is so deeply personal to me and brings me such joy and peacefulness, that I am going to just sit back and see where it takes me. And I will enjoy the ride, in huge part thanks to Lynne!

Jessica Holden

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area she calls home, Jessica Holden is a photographer, freelance book editor, and mom with an eye for capturing the everyday moments and ordinary things that make life extraordinary. As a little girl she was mesmerized by watching her grandfather create masterful charcoal renderings of sun-streamed redwood groves; since she can barely sketch stick figures, she tries to achieve that same radiance with her camera. In her ideal world, she’d shop at Anthropologie, explore the backroads of Italy, and sip cappuccino out of porcelain cups in European cafés. In this one, she shops at Target, visits castles in Disneyland, and settles for cappuccinos in paper cups at Starbucks. And she wouldn’t change a thing!

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