#107 – Developing A Style

I responded to a thread on the Talk Photography discussion forum about developing your on style of photography. I realised some time ago that shooting something that you are interested in, regularly, helps you to develop a style. While it’s not something that you can consciously do (really, as it’s something that evolves over time), here’s a few tips that I found helped me along the way;

1) As mentioned, shoot a subject you are interested in and do it regularly. I shoot (or did) a lot of urban exploration, and over time, some kind of style emerged.

2) Look at the work of others. I’m active on several different urban forums as well as a couple of photography forums. Study the work of others whose work you like and think about why you like it – is it the compositions, the lighting, the locations, the models, the perspectives, etc.

3) Try different things. Use different lenses, try different compositions.

4) Borrow from different genres. I’ve borrowed from landscape and photojournalism.

5) Review your own photographs, and consider if they work or not. I have books full of notes that I make every time I go out with a camera, where I write down what where I wet, what went right and what went wrong. I also review my photos over and over again, filtering out the ones that I like best, and that I then put on Flickr and my website. These are the ones that best fit in with my style and help form a cohesive feel to my website.

6) Don’t be afraid to expose it to others for honest critique. I don’t mean the countless forums or Flickr groups who just say ‘Nice photo’, but places where they will tell you why they like it or don’t, and how to improve.

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