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Why: An Artistic Photograph is not About the Subject or the Scene - 2

This photograph is part of a collection that gave us a real photographic existence.
This photograph is part of a collection that gave us a real photographic existence.

The Second Element of Your Photographic Identity: Your Photographic Style

Your photographic style defines the way you photograph. For example, you will love creating photos with fuzzy backgrounds or very sharp photos. Your style may be large frames or tight shots. These may be clear tones or dark tones.

Your style allows you to create photographs that look like you. To have a style is to be recognized by an audience.

You can also define several styles because you may be attracted by different creative ways. But do not keep more than three because otherwise you will become visually inaudible. Having more than three photographic styles would be a guarantee of not being recognized and dispersing you.

For example, in my case, I defined two styles for my fine art print collections. My first style is called "Shades of blacks and whites". My second style is called "Lights and colors".

For each one of them, I defined precise rules that I conform to when I compose, I frame my scenes and when I develop my photographs.

Having a photographic style allows you to always create photos that have the same visual and emotional characteristics. This is very important when you want to exhibit or when you want to be published. Try to take an example of yourself   People love a lot when there is a unity, a strong idea, a continuity in creative works.

To define your photographic style, reuse the technique to define your vision. Take a sheet of paper a pencil.

But add a new element. In every book and magazine, you have at home, identify all the images that appeal to you and that make sense to you. If you can cut them if you can, you mark them.

Make a stack with all these pictures. This is the method I adopted when I defined my two photographic styles.

Then, you unpick each of the images by creating two new stacks. The first contains the photos you prefer the most. The other pile consists of clichés that you like a little less.

You reiterate this process until you have about 10 photos left in the stack   most   ".

At this precise moment, if you spread the ten pictures on a table so as to see them all, you face your own photographic style.

All you have to do is write all the keywords that the different images evoke for you. This list of keywords should be learned by heart because it is it that you will remember in the field or in front of your computer screen when selecting or developing your photos.

This is a method that works perfectly and that I apply during custom photo courses.
As with the definition of your photographic vision, the definition of your styles will evolve over time. You will delete ideas, add new ones, modify others. It is the maturity and practice of the photo activity that pushes you to make these changes. This is a perfectly normal process. All photographers are subject to this maturation. Over time you will find that you simplify a lot and that your style will become more and more clear. As I often say   it's very difficult to do simple things   ". Only experience can deliver a tangible result. The important thing is to start and take the first step.

The search for inspiration is the indispensable complement

I think it is absolutely necessary to define a strong photographic identity to create different and interesting photographs.

But this is only a step in the long process of making photos of interesting nature.

Do not forget to look for sources of inspiration to fuel your vision and your style. In this article, I gave you tracks to look for and find inspiration.

The inspiration is to enrich new ideas that will allow you original photographs.

You will seek inspiration by looking at the creative approach of other photographers or painters. The idea is not to copy the artists you like but to use what you see to fuel your vision and your style. You may be able to reproduce scenes but put the spices of your own personality and your creativity. Seeking inspiration is also in photography.


If you are a photographer who wants to express yourself fully with your photographic activity or if you want to be recognizable, you must define your photographic identity with a strong vision and a clear photographic style. You will then become very effective in the field and you will not ask unnecessary questions when shooting. You will be more creative.


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