Why and How You Need a Photographic Identity to Photograph Well - 2
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 include large frames or tight shots, with clear tones or dark tones.
Your style allows you to create photographs that resemble you and your personality. 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. However, do not keep more than three styles. Otherwise you will become visually inaudible. Having more than three photographic styles would be a guarantee of not being recognized, and this would dispel all of the work to create a style in the first place.
For example, in my case, I defined two styles for my art print collections. My first style is called "Shades of Blacks and Whites". My second style is called "Lights and Colors".
For each one, I defined precise rules to conform to when I compose, frame, or develop my photographs.
Having a photographic style allows you to always create photos with the same visual and emotional characteristics. This is very important when you want to exhibit or publish your work. Try to make an example of yourself. People deeply appreciate photos when there is unity, strong ideas, and a continuity in an artist’s creative works.
To define your photographic style, reuse the technique with your vision. Take a sheet of paper a pencil.
Add a new element. In every book and magazine at home, identify all the images that appeal to you and that make sense to you. If you can, cut them and mark them.
Make a stack of the pictures. This is the method I adopted when defining 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. 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 keywords that the different images evoke for you. This list of keywords should be learned by heart because they will be remembered in the field or on front of your computer screen when selecting or developing 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. However, this is only one 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 to better find sources of inspiration.
Inspiration enriches new ideas that will allow you to make 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, although you may add the spices of your own personality and creativity. Inspiration can be found in photography.
If you are a photographer who wants to express yourself fully with your photographic activity or if you want to be recognizable by your audience, 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 become more creative.