Do you have a style?

By: Darrell Klein

Jan 02 2008

Category: Art, Creativity, Image, photography


Photo: Forsaken Spire – Nashville, Tennessee

I figured I had better post a photo from my “good” camera before the wife made me sell it. :)  Now, let’s get on to some discussion about photography.

Colin Jago recently discussed the development of a “style” by photographers in a post on his Photostream blog. Paul Butzi also added his take on the subject in this post on his Photo Musings blog. These two posts are definitely worth checking out.

My take on the subject is this. As Colin said, I have seen advice given to aspiring photographers that tells them to develop a personal style. When I hear this, it just doesn’t feel quite right. When I read or hear that advice, I cannot help but think of the negative way this could affect my photography. Perhaps I am taking this the wrong way but as Colin mentioned, it is often presented as something that you can decide what it is and cross it off your list. I also think of how it could cause me to pigeon hole myself and limit my freedom to try new things.

I also agree with Paul that a personal style is something that you must just let develop on its own. As one commenter on Paul’s blog put it, I too think style develops as a by product of honesty. There is nothing wrong with having a little something that distinguishes your work from the rest but I think we as photographers have to be careful not to deliberately meddle in the process of forming that style. Don’t box yourself in.


4 comments on “Do you have a style?”

  1. What type of camera are you using?

  2. For this shot and most of the others seen on my blog, I use a Canon 20D if that really means anything. I also occasionally use a “toy digital camera” and I have posted some photos from that camera recently.

  3. Your wife made you sell a 20D? A 1D maybe, but a 20D?

  4. Well Robert, I suppose my wording was poor regarding selling the camera. I should have said “before she makes me sell the camera”. All kidding aside, my wife is very supportive of my photographic efforts.

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