How to Find Your Style in Photography.

We find it looking back at our output, not ahead at someone else’s.

Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate. – Clark Terry

It is not what you shoot, it is how you shoot what you shoot.

Most of us start out shooting everything that comes in front of our lens. We simply fall in love with the process of fixing a still image from our visual surroundings.

We love the act and product of photography.

But down the road a bit, we start focusing in on the subjects we choose. Perhaps we lose interest in urban street photography in order to make more portraits. Or we find less and less to shoot in the city because all of our efforts seem to be focused on the wild that lies beyond.

Natural progression.

But after a while we begin to see a particular kind of image more and more in our work. Perhaps it is a way we compose, or a consistent way we present our subjects. Our post processing begins leaning toward that ‘look’ and we have the beginnings of style.

Style is NOT just a filter set or a plugin.Style is NOT using a specific lens.
Style is NOT making images that look like someone else’s style.

Style is what we do with all of the tools at our hands.

How we compose, frame, light, interact, present emotion (or not), deliver a story (or not). treat the subjects relationship to the world, reframe the subject into a place that may or may not represent reality.

It is how we make images that are uniquely ours.

Totally unique?

Nope. Damned difficult to do.

But unique to us in that they are a cohesive set of images – a body of work – that relates to our vision and presentation of the photography.

We find our style looking back on what we love.

So we need to make a lot of images before we begin to see our ‘style’ emerging.

Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate. – Clark Terry


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