Style

There have always been discussions in the photography community about style, defining your style, showing what you want to shoot etc….

Some people say their style is to “shoot wide open” meaning that they shoot only at the lowest number f/stop possible to make sure only what they want is in focus.  I personally do not consider that a style, I consider that a technique, simply because anyone can do it if they have the same gear you have.  I think style has more to do with how you see the world, not the settings you use to photograph it.

I’ll shoot wide open, I’ll shoot at f/16, I will shoot with any camera I think gets the shot I want!  I don’t think it matters what camera you use, what f/stop you use or whether it is film or digital.  When someone looks at an image you took, do they automatically assume it is your image if your name isn’t on it? To me that is what style is all about.  When people recognize your work without even having to see who shot it.  There are several people out there who are not famous photographers who have defined their own style.  The entire world does not have to know who they are, but their clients certainly seek them out for what it is that they do!

It is cool to be inspired by others, but try to make your work you own!  Copying an image is great when you’re in school and your instructor gives an assignment of re-creating an image, that is so you can understand how light works, not to build your portfolio.

With the availability of digital cameras at affordable prices, everyone can attempt to be a photographer.  What will make you stand out is your ability to deliver images the way you only can.  Visualize and execute, if you fail, keep trying.  Nothing says you have to get it right the first time!