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Photographic Style

Centurion

Active Member
Hi all,

I attended (a few days ago now) a photography workshop where the presenter (a pro photographer) was telling the audience that without your own "style" you will struggle to advance in the field of Landscape Photography.
He maintains that you should be able to take an image and the viewer can recognize it as one of your image, because of your "style".

This got me thinking, (which can be dangerous) does your "style" determine the settings. composition and lighting you use for each shot, is "style" a limiting factor ?, or an expression of how you saw the scene.
He says "style" is something that can't be taught, it is something that gradually evolves over a period of time, almost without you realizing it.
I don't know if I have a "style" or not, I don't know if I even need one, but I found his comments regarding it interesting.

What do others think, has "style" helped you in your photography? if so how ?

Regards

Barry H
 

Pteranadon

Always on
Premium Member
I am thinking the same train of thought can be said about any genre.

With that...anyone who has some creative thought in the least wants to be different from the next.

I recently looked up a lens. Some reviews and lastly, in flickr.
What I saw there was a wee bit disappointing. Not the skill, but they all looked like the same person was shooting.
It was like: this lens was made for this, and everyone carbon copied.

On here, there are some specific styles, as I would assume there are on Flickr.
I just wanted to say a real time example.

I think what is important is the know how.
And then what you like.
Definitely, what you like. That will set you apart.
 

MikeB

Always on
Premium Member
Having a recognizable "style" that you maintain throughout your career benefits marketing yourself and little else. He is correct from the perspective of advancing yourself, the more your images can be easily attributed to you, if they're excellent, the greater demand their will be for your work. From the perspective of a collector, they want a recognizable style that may beome an investment. This is true of everything in art, craft and any other enterprise where the creator is recognized - it makes the product special.

From the perspective of the artist, it means arriving at a particular style and sticking with it, no matter how limiting it is to your sense of creativity. Having a style is about marketing not creativity.

By the way, once you create a recognizable style that successfully gains interest, every other frustrated photographer wanting to market themselves will copy that style.
 

Phill104

Always on
Premium Member
I think that may have been true I the past, but now not so much. There is a high level of saturation and those that are still making a good living seem to be those that are more versatile and create images that are in vogue.

In the field of wildlife, I know a chap that does have a recognisable style, but he has got to the point where he hates it as he feels it is restrictive. He feels he has grown lots as a photographer and as such found trying to stick to his style has taken the fun out of his shooting. His customers have expectations from him so he feels trapped.
 

Expo

Well-Known Member
An interesting question, to which the answer (for me anyway) is “yes”.

A couple of years ago, a friend asked me to take a picture of her horse “in the style of <specific photographer>” whose style she admired, but whose services she couldn’t afford to engage! I took the pictures, looked up the guys general “style” and came up with my own version of it. My style is similar but different and achieved in a very different way. Does this mean my images are now my own style to not? Or simply a copy of something someone else was doing? I have no idea ... but since that first image, I have produced (and sold) equine portraits for many other people who like my style. So, yes, style has helped my photography.
 

MikeB

Always on
Premium Member
An interesting question, to which the answer (for me anyway) is “yes”.

A couple of years ago, a friend asked me to take a picture of her horse “in the style of <specific photographer>” whose style she admired, but whose services she couldn’t afford to engage! I took the pictures, looked up the guys general “style” and came up with my own version of it. My style is similar but different and achieved in a very different way. Does this mean my images are now my own style to not? Or simply a copy of something someone else was doing? I have no idea ... but since that first image, I have produced (and sold) equine portraits for many other people who like my style. So, yes, style has helped my photography.
Depends on whether your "style" stands alone or whether it can be confused with someone else's recognized style.
 

Pteranadon

Always on
Premium Member
I don't know if I have a "style" but I can tell you I am not always "happy" with the outcomes.
But I am always happy to share that days best everytime I go out.
I guess that's my style.
 

Ramble Vision

Mountain Climber
Super Moderator
i don't think style is a thing you should think about. if you do things how you like then your style will come out anyway. for me style is another word for taste. Just do things to your personal taste and let the rest take care of itself.
 

rebel06

Looking for a cause.
Moderator
May be a style will limit you .. Limit your imagination .. I can see it as a benefit for commercial reasons but only if it sells .. No good if nobody want it
 
I believe that your style is something that comes naturally and encompasses life in general, it is not something that can be taught, it's just who you are.

When people first pick up the camera, they try every genre, they experiment with processing techniques, they are trying to discover who they are, but their style, even when they are copying someone else, is still present.

No-one sees the world the way you do, and that is your style.

That's just my 2 pennies worth.
 

DonS

Stuck in Toronto
Moderator
Sometimes style is limiting. You really notice this on Instagram. You see a photo and you know it is someone's because it is edited exactly the same way as all their other photos. I know of several that always have same colours even if those colours did not exist in the location. It becomes boring.
 
Sometimes style is limiting. You really notice this on Instagram. You see a photo and you know it is someone's because it is edited exactly the same way as all their other photos. I know of several that always have same colours even if those colours did not exist in the location. It becomes boring.
I agree with this and I've been guilty of it myself.

I think of myself as a black and white photographer and have converted pictures with sub-par light just because I wanted them to look cohesive, actually, those photos would've been better left in colour.

So yeah, even though I think style is something natural within you, I do agree that it can be limiting if you just do the same thing over and over.
 
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