Friday, September 23, 2011

What is your style?

I remember asking about style when I first got into photography. I didn't really know what my style was, or how I was supposed to find it. I knew that there were certain photographers that inspired me. I remember someone telling me that I had to FIND my own style through shooting (trial and error you could call it). I already knew what editing styles I liked, I just needed to figure out how to achieve my own technique and determine if I was more of a "posed" or "photojournalist" shooter. First off I didn't want to just flat copy someone else... I loved their work, and knew that particular "look" is what I wanted to achieve... but I needed to make it my own.

Someone recommended that I should put together a posing guide for myself. I went online to the photographers I was most inspired by and pulled some of their photos into my posing guide. I studied this guide, even took it with me on shoots to refer to if I needed. I knew NOTHING about properly posing a person when I first got started, so I needed my security blanket. Heck, I still use that thing at times, because I still don't feel comfortable trying to pose people without some help. What I do try to avoid is taking one of those photos and totally recreate it... I don't use the same location, background, props, composition ,etc. I don't try to make my photo look 100% like someone else's. Sure, there are some poses that have become sort of a "tradition" - like standing on the railroad tracks. But when I pull a pose from a photo I like, I try to reinvent it - tweak it.

There is nothing wrong with using your inspiration for learning purposes -- over time you will learn the technique and figure out exactly what YOUR niche is. Not everyone automatically knows everything there is to know about photography - technical side, composition, posing... and we may never know everything... I'm learning knew things every day... and we all start somewhere.

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