Q: "I like to look at the work of photographers to learn and get inspired (you're one of them). What do you think about learning from looking at photographers who's work you enjoy, and who, if any, do you look at and enjoy?" ~ Shannon
A: "Thanks for your question Shannon! Looking at other photographers' work is one of the best ways to get inspiration, looking at art in general inspires me. We can learn a lot from the great painters as well. The use of light is no different.
Of course, as a street photographer, I am inspired by well known photographers such as Bresson, Doisneau or Erwitt. The recently discovered work of Vivian Maier is amazing and such a source of inspiration as well. I am also in awe by the amazing work of photographers of my own generation and I regularly go through sites such as 500px or Google+ to look at art. There are so many amazing unknown artists out there who create stunning images. We are fortunate to be able to have access to such a wealth of talent thanks to the Internet. It wasn't so long ago that we only had access to work in print form, which was very limiting. So many talented photographers were never discovered and their work never seen because visibility was reserved to very few well known artists.
I think we need to derive your inspiration from the Internet, museum exhibits and books. Emulating the work of others is also a great way to learn different techniques, such as lighting. This blog post by fellow photographer Rick Sammon comes to mind.
Most of all, I get inspiration in everyday life. I just spent three days roaming the streets of Paris and the unique atmosphere inspires me every time. It reminds me to slow down, observe and record with my camera."
Please leave a comment below and share your experience with the community. If you have a question, feel free to send it to Valerie for an upcoming Q&A blog post. This blog cannot exist without your questions!