Finding your own style in photography (7 replies and 3 comments)
Hi Roger and everyone!
I am currently in college pursuing a certificate in photography as well as a bachelors degree in communications media production. As I find myself working on more and more photography projects, I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to develop your own style of photography? Also, just saw 1917 last night and it looked absolutely fantastic in every sense of the word! Congrats to you and your team on more stellar work!
I don't think style should be a self-conscious choice, it should come naturally, organically -- over time -- from you pursuing your interests and applying your developing taste. If you're in college, this should be a time to explore the medium and see where it leads you.
Otherwise, you lock yourself into limitations like "I'll be the photographer known for high-contrast b&w wide-angle photography!" or "I'll be the street photographer who uses a flash and gets in people's faces!" You just have to trust that your eye and your heart will lead you in the right direction.
Well said. I think it is a mistake to obsess about a personal 'style'. Surely you are your style. Whatever 'grabs' you, whatever seems 'right' to you is your style. You may love the work of Todd Hido, Gregory Crewdson, Cartier Bresson or Bill Brandt but that doesn't mean that their style is right for you. I think that's the mistake many people make as it lessens the possibility of them finding their own way of interpreting what they see.
I find the evolution of Edvard Munch's work an interesting study. His is my favorite painter but that is by the way. Munch tried to emulate the pointillist movement and many others before he began to focus on the more personal aspects of his own life. He obsessed over a single image and produced multiple versions of that same image over many years. His style changed but only because he was trying to get to a greater truth (a pretentious way of putting it, maybe, but that's all I have). Munch's ambition led him to his 'style'.
"Surely you are your style"--absolutely. I photograph whatever catches my eye--simple as that... I love Cartier Bresson, but I would never dream of trying to "do an HCB". He said that photography is an act of aligning the eye, the heart, and the mind on the same axis. His results speak for themselves. Can't leave without saying that 1917 enthralled me. Thank you for your commitment to cinema, sir. You inspired this image.
Howdy from a fellow (fine art landscape) photographer...
My mentor, Alain Briot, has a great essay about this subject: https://luminous-landscape.com/achieving-your-personal-style/»
that said, the prior commenters are right - your style will develop over time. This paragraph from the essay was my 'epiphany' 🙂
"You cannot force personal style into being because in many ways style finds us more than we find it. What you can do is work as hard as you can at expressing your vision. You may not even know for sure when you have arrived, when you have developed a personal style. This is in part because this process is a journey and not a destination. It is also because, as artists, we do not always recognize when we have developed a style; in many instances someone else has to point this out to us."
Alain Zarinelli | Web: https://alainzarinelli.com» | Instagram: @azarinelli
That is well put. 'The process is a journey and not a destination'. I like that. I don't see that destination yet!
Wow! Thanks everyone for responding. I will definitely remember all the great tips and points you all brought up going forward in my schooling and photography work.
If you anyone here has any interest, I have attached a photograph I took this past summer that I am quite proud of. If anyone wants to critique what I have posted it would be most appreciated. Any and all criticisms and suggestions are welcome. And if not, I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I have enjoyed capturing and editing it!
Thanks again everyone!
I love it. Looks like an oil painting, I would like that on my wall. Did you ‘tweak’ it or is it natural. We had had a great painter in Plymouth UK named Robert Lenkiewicz,
who died in 2002 but he was a master at painting clouds and skies, his paintings now sell for thousands. He offered me a painting once for free, I wish I took it. Women use to queue up to be painted by him.
Thanks Mike! I did tweak it in lightroom a bit to bring out the colors a bit more and add some contrast to the image. Its one of the more popular ones among my friend group and website I believe.
Lenkiewicz was famous for using lots of light in his paintings. He offered free lessons for dedicated pupils which made him popular with the ladies, hence 12 children! Have a look at his other works on the internet.
These look great I certainly will look for his other work!