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This image is from my very first paid photoshoot all the way back in 2013. It is still one of my favorites and is a prime example of the style I've developed. This image wasn't planned or posed -- it was taken spur of the moment -- and captures the vibrancy and boldness that has come to define my work.
First, some knowledge I wish I could have bestowed on my younger self:
For me, that means taking a minimalist approach with the equipment I use. I'm trained as a journalist and rely on those skills during any session, making mobility key. I strive to capture candid moments, and don't use tripods or other bulky tools that can weigh me down.
When it comes to post processing, which is what I focused on in my last blog post on this topic, I stick to functions that I view as enhancing -- not altering -- my images. Primarily, that means increasing exposure (but not too much), and darkening dark areas (again, not too much). I want my photos to be vibrant while having balanced contrast.
Art shouldn't have to be that hard or stressful. Instead, I'm rephrasing the statement: Make art that looks like you. We're all unique individuals who have unique experiences and see the world through one pair of eyes -- our own. By definition, that means the art each of us creates is unique. The challenge then, is not about creating something extraordinarily different, but creating an extension of ourselves.
More than anything, I've come to realize that style isn't as much about the end product as it is about the process that gets you there. There's also no magic formula that can lead any artist to their style -- it is something that is developed over time through free flowing trial and error.
If you're a photographer, artist or creative struggling to develop a style that suits you, I encourage you to look at the whole picture. Start by identifying the tools you have to work with, identify which tools you LIKE working with, and then decide which tools will bring you to your end goal -- whatever that may be. Experiment with what you have at your disposal until you find something you feel comfortable with, and that feels right for you. You can build from there. Finally -- and most importantly -- trust your gut and follow your heart. They will not lead you wrong.