Fashion Photography – What’s Your Style?
I know when I was starting out, I had no idea what style of fashion photography I was going to do. The first year, I was trying out everything. If I had an idea, I would set it up and photograph it. I tried simple portraits with very little post-processing, vintage, even punk. I had an idea of what my style was. But it was frustrating not being able to pin it down.
Then I read about a simple exercise to help me understand my style. Basically, go through my favorite magazines and tear out the images that I most liked. After a few pages, a pattern starts to form and you get that ‘aaah’ feeling. I can go through an issue of Vogue Magazine and I tend to tear out the same images from the same photographers and advertisements. You can do this via the web too. Go to 500px.com or other photo-sharing sites and collect photos you really like.
I wish I had known about this exercise earlier. It would’ve really speeded up the process to learn my style. And saved me a good deal of money! But I think it’s good to go through the process just to get see what different styles feel like.
What I think is most important is not to copy the styles you like. But to give you a baseline for your own style. I’ve seen plenty of photographers who are obsessed with learning how the big pros do it. But then their images look like the big pros and not their own. Which I think is really sad. I’m not above using pre-defined styles I bought or downloaded to help me reach my vision. And maybe do some tweaking. Not to copy.
And about going through the process of different styles? How about implementing some of what you liked about other styles into your baseline? Tweak and tweak until you get the image you envisioned.
True artists evolve and hopefully, their work as well. Trying out different and new styles and techniques. The lifelong and incredible journey of an artist!