I’ve been thinking a lot about my own work lately (narcissist that I am) since I don’t seem to be going anywhere in particular. (I really am, but I just don’t realize it yet.) So I began looking online for thoughts about developing one’s photographic/artistic style.
At this website called The Polar Route http://www.thepolarroute.com/2013/07/finding-your-photographic-style/ the author wrote:
If you’re unsure of your style, look back at your body of work and ask yourself which images you felt most comfortable shooting. If you don’t yet have an extensive body of work, ask yourself a few simple questions:
• What interests you?
• Do you like people, nature, or architecture?
• Do you like vibrant colors or black and white?
• Do you prefer shooting bright and happy images or dark and moody ones?
He calls these “simple” questions. Go ahead. Try it. Answer some. Like “What interests you?” I can say line, design, architecture, landscapes, seascapes, macro, color, texture, creating faux postcards, making physical and digital collages, antique cars, hot air balloons, airplanes, nautical stuff, trees, etc.
And try this question: “Do you prefer shooting bright and happy images or dark and moody ones?” My answer is yes. What’s yours?
I’m being glib, but I’m also being serious. My collages do seem to have a Japanese vibe to them, as do a lot of my photomontages. And I often enjoy incorporating crows and ravens in my work whenever possible. And postage stamps.
The person who wrote the blog article encourages us to really ramp up whatever style we have. Enjoy bold colors? Max them out. Enjoy creating dark images? Make them darker. Find your style, find what you like, and then pump up the volume. It’s actually a very good idea. However . . .
What if you don’t know what your style is? And so the quest continues . . .
P.S. For those of you who are interested, these are photos of:
(1) Bales of hay between the Oregon coast and the central valley.
(2) A physical collage I made using my own hand-printed paper, a page from a vintage Japanese book, and a postage stamp from my collection.
(3) Graffiti on the side of a railroad car. I was initially attracted to the eye. Squint and you'll see it's actually Michael Jackson.
(4) A faux postcard I made using my photos of old stamps, ink on vintage paper, faux labels, numbers from old banknotes, and who knows what else.
(5) A photomontage I made with my photos of texture from an old fishing boat, a monoprint I made using acrylic paint and rubber bands, hand-painted stripes, and more.
And finally (6) a blending of photos I took of a mural and paint streaks on the side of a building.
Maybe I do have a style after all: eclectic weirdness!