The Journey of Finding Your Style: Part 1
How My Journey Began
I started exploring the art of photography in my high school years and this is where my style began to develop. I was a very shy young man and didn’t really want to interact with people outside my small group of friends. I always shot with a guy named Andrew. He was really a writer and just joined me because he enjoyed it. I didn’t try to look for people to model or even on the sly. I photographed some sports but if it was up to me I just wanted to see the details. I remember shooting a frozen basketball goal, an old church tower in Mexico, and Mount St. Helen’s.[caption id="attachment_5721" align="aligncenter" width="432"] This may not look like much but in Austin, TX this never happens.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5723" align="aligncenter" width="241"] This old church was the only remaining building of a small town in Mexico that was covered by Volcano lava.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5724" align="aligncenter" width="432"]
This is the first picture I remember taking and being super proud of. Mt St. Helen’s in Washington St.[/caption]
The Twists and Turns
As I entered college my style started to evolve but always stayed connected to my roots. I was still shy. I didn’t want to interact much with my models. I quietly walked to class but it was those classes that challenged me to adjust. I had to start using models if I wanted to actually do well in class and learn. I stayed reserved but started to expand.
This was really my introduction to my style, a quite, simplistic, unassuming image. I didn’t interact much with what was going on; I just wanted to capture it.
Then my first real job and I ended up working as a studio photographer. I had to instruct and connect with my clients and that was difficult and very stretching. Again my styled adjusted to fit the job but stayed simple. For the most part this worked but I realized I was missing that dynamic element that creates the wow factor. Next I jumped into wedding photography partially because I wanted the challenge but also because I didn’t see my style translating into income. Although this time was more about business that photography I still learned that I could no longer sit back and let my model do their think but I had to take some control. SO not only did my style start to evolve but so did my personality.
My Current Style
Now as a photography teacher my style is always adjusting and changing because my students need it to. Want to do dynamic and wow; great lets throw 6 lights in the scene, freeze motion and add a eye popping edit. Fashion, yeah I can figure it out. Light painting; no problem. I have become a jack-of-all-trades but truly a master of none. When I go out and shoot just for me I revert back to my simple, unassuming ways, with a little more flair.[caption id="attachment_5726" align="aligncenter" width="496"]
Here I used my simple style but did work with the models a little for the leg positioning I wanted.[/caption]
How I See My Style Evolving
Evolution of your style is a vital part of the art. For me I don’t see major changes in my style just little things; small changes in my editing style, more use of ND filters, and an increase in of camera flash. However the shooting will likely stay very much the same. I don’t plan on becoming this super extrovert like Peter Hurley (who is amazing with people) or a large-scale shooter like Benjamin Von Wong (I love this guys work). Those just aren’t my style and that is ok. I don’t want to force it but instead embrace it and growth within it.