Imitate Others or Create Your Style

Often new photographers starting out are unsure of their own style.  They may begin to imitate other photographers they have read about or viewed in magazines, galleries, or books.  That strategy is not the only or best way to discover your style, as some photographers see it as bordering on copyright infringement.  Also, do you want to have your images being similar to someone else?

How do you discover your own style?  One of the best ways to discover your own photography style is shoot a variety of subjects; nature, landscape, sports, portraits, food, photojournalism, events, and abstracts.  As you create these images you may learn that you enjoy one subject better than another.  Be careful, as that may not necessarily be your “style.”  It may just be your preference to that kind of subject.

What defines a photographers style?  Take a look at the works of Ansel Adams.  Yes, the subject was landscapes of the west in Yosemite, as well as New Mexico.  The style is the way a particular image was created, from the previsualization to the final print.  In other words style involves the process in the creation of the final print (or digital image).   If you read about Adams you will learn that he scouted his locations very carefully, spent hours waiting for the light to be what he had previsualized, then in the darkroom he used a variety of skills to create the final print.

Your style will develop over time by learning and practicing your previsualized idea of your images, the work flow you use in capturing the image, and finally how you use the darkroom (traditional or digital) to create your final print (digital image or product).  It is best to use your style often after you have discovered it.  By refining your style others will be able to look at your images and recognize that you were the photographer.

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About Douglas Wilks Photography

I am an advanced photographer who lives in western Montana. I create a variety of strong images using a DSLR, computer, and digital software. I am available for hire for full time, part time, or projects. Most of my images are of landscapes, still life, and events. I am always looking to improve my skills, network of friends and professionals, and portfolio. I look forward to creating new friends, contacts, and others who are interested in photography.
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