I am a fan of Art Wolfe. I think his photography is absolutely stunning. I have a habit of trying to first recreate the things that inspire me. I have yet to succeed in inspiring myself with my tree pictures the way Art Wolfe inspires me. Once I reach a point of happiness with the recreation I then try to make it my own. I am not the artist who wants to redo what has been done. We all need a starting place though. Emulating those we admire can only lead to better things.
I was not aware of Art Wolf when I started my tree series. Indeed that series is nothing like his work. As I gained the knowledge that I needed to be aware of other photographers and artists Art Wolfe quickly became one of my favorites. I would even go so far to say he is an influence. I am getting closer to being happy with my pictures that emulate him. I am not happy quite yet but getting closer.
There are really two points here. Learn so that you can love what others do and emulate what you love so you can push yourself. I won’t ever be the photographer Art Wolfe is. That is not my voice. By knowing that I just got more clear on what my voice is. What I am really learning for Art Wolfe is that his voice is strong. I want my voice to be strong like that. I want it to be hard for people to mimic me. If I can do that then maybe I can say I really am of strong voice and there for I can become something special in the industry. Now here in lies the best part. If I had not admired him, tried to emulate him and learned from him in this way I would not have realized what I truly needed to learn from him. Now that is true inspiration.