I was listening to the Photofocus podcast recently when this question was asked (the following transcript of the question is from the Photofocus show notes for this podcast)
“Question Seven – Incorporating Styles of Photography without Copying, My question is on how to incorporate your style of photography without being a copy cat? John Pavlish Seattle, WA
Tamara: I believe that your style is you and how you interact with people. I think if you’re going to dig into your style you really need to figure out who you are. Photographic styles evolve and hopefully you evolve. One tip is to try and take everything that you sense about the world and use your unique perspective to tell the story of how you see things and you’ll start to see your style develop.
Scott: Some people think that style is technique and it’s not. Just say, I want to tell this story or convey this thought. Those are the things that really matter. Style is you being you. It’s okay to be influenced by other peoples styles -whether you do it consciously or unconsciously.”
If you would like to here this podcast go to http://photofocus.com/2010/10/25/photofocus-podcast-episode-55/
This is an interesting question and one I enjoyed hearing them explore. In particular one sentence jumped out at me “One tip is to try and take everything that you sense about the world and use your unique perspective to tell the story of how you see things and you’ll start to see your style develop.” To put it slightly differently, we see the world uniquely, we just don’t see it as unique because its the way it has always been. Its the old can’t see the forest because all those trees are in the way” problem.
The method they suggest is beautifully simple, record everything you see and examine what you capture. Your favourite subjects, locations will pop up again and again. You will discover what you like sometimes by design and sometimes by accident. The thing that is uniquely you, your personality, will determine why you like the subjects and locations you do, the angles and techniques you use etc. As they say in the podcast, keep half an eye on the trends and techniques you see others use, these can provide new avenues to explore but as Scott bourne said recently “Don’t Let The Pursuit of New Stop You From Being YOU!”
We can never see through another person’s eyes nor read their thoughts but through photography we can begin to record our own vision and see others. By comparing the two we can begin to see the world with new eyes. Both appreciating our own viewpoint as well as others.
When we begin to pay attention to how we see things and examine this we develop as David Duchemin would say, our visual opinion of the world around us. Then over time we develop and utilise techniques that assist us in telling our story of the world that surrounds us.
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This entry was posted on Thursday, November 18th, 2010 at 5:30 pm
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