Anyone who has a deeper interest in photography will at some point have come across some reference to finding your style. Articles and videos about how to find your own style, the styles of other photographers.
I’ve gone down this path more than a few times, tried to find my style so to be able to distinguish my images from others. I have spent hours examining my images, trying to find something that connects them, some form of similarity in content, structure or composition. I never found anything, I felt that I like to take images from too many different subjects to be able to define a style, and I felt that I was trying to force myself to find something that wasn’t there. After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that it actually doesn’t matter, I don’t need one. As good as a style may be to identify your work form many others, a style also has the potential to be limiting, and why would you want that? Why would you limit your potential?
I still believe that you do not need a style, but as usual, when you stop looking for something you find it. The lesson for me is, as with many other areas, listen to yourself, follow what you feel is right, learn from others, be inspired but don’t try to copy, and don’t try to force something, it won’t be your own, you will struggle with it and it will not be authentic.
What have I come across in my images? What have I seen?
A separation of the subject, while including enough of the environment to show a story
I prefer a darker, moody image, subdued colours and smooth bokeh
Technically, I like to shoot with a wide-open aperture to further isolate the subject
The majority of my images are either far away or very close up, but still follow point #1
The style spans across the different genres that I like to work with, as you can see in the two images below. More importantly, though, it has come from a natural progression in the way I work, and it’s a style that I really like. It brings across the way that I see the world.
There are still exceptions to these points but this is the direction I see my images moving in. I’m sure that this will continue to adapt and that in ten years it could look completely different, but for the time being, I’m going to acknowledge it and consciously work with it.
After looking at this I think that I could probably get rid of most my lenses and just keep the 250mm with the 1.4x teleconverter, and the 120mm macro.
The images below were taken over the past four years, what I see in them may not be the same from your perspective. I see a progression of quality and style over the past few years.