“Why fit in when you were born to stand out”. Dr Seuss.
So how do we develop a Style? All Artists and Musicians study the Masters of their craft. They imitate and copy just like Picasso did with Raphael, but at some point they have to find their own voice. Otherwise they end up like musicians playing covers their entire lives. No one is completely original.. we don’t exist in a vacuum. So by all means look at images by people you admire and see if you can emulate them but only up to a point, then you have to add something of yourself to your images and to this genre.
The best way to develop a style is to let it find you. After you have been photographing at Street for a period of time, (for me it was between 6-12 months), a style will emerge, you will see certain traits in your work.
Silhouette at Musee d ‘Orsay Paris 2015
In this image we have a silhouette of a lady stepping up to an interior of a large clock within a museum setting. There is high contrast, lots of black and white values which creates impact. The circle is dynamic, it is a strong shape that also leads your eye around the image. We also have diagonal lines and square shapes, a frame within a frame. It has an added Surreal effect, as it is not common to see a clock in this situation. Even though I have since seen other images from this particular location, for me it was new, so it translates and feels authentic. I am drawn to strong geometric shapes in images, the human form creates a good juxtaposition between the organic and inorganic form, also the subjects legs echo the shapes of roman numerals.
A Shadow Walk Paris 2015
It is easy to take an image that has high impact, and it is easy to take the same type of image again and again. People call this a style. To me it is boring!! So I will continue to experiment, make fabulous failures that will never see the light of day and start over, again and again.
Your style should always be evolving. If you are popular for taking images of puddles for instance and then you take more images of the same. You stagnate and your creativity will die. If you are always posting to please other people you become a slave to the social media stream. Instead, if you keep people guessing then you are in charge of your own destiny. So Zig when they expect you to Zag. That doesn’t mean you have to switch genres, if Street is your thing then stay where your interest lies. But if creating Abstract Images makes you happy by all means take these images, and incorporate them into your style.
Salvador Dali. A Street View Paris 2015
If you are an introvert you won’t want to be up in people’s faces, you will be far more comfortable taking people from afar, or working with silhouettes and shadows. Extroverts on the other hand, they like to interact with their subjects, so are more inclined to get eye contact or talk to their subjects and do Street Portraiture. It is all about being true to yourself. Personally I’m an introvert with extrovert tendencies so I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I can step in-between my dual mindsets. But this developed over time. With practice and perseverance and putting yourself out there..You can’t learn it from someone else. We all need to find our own path.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”― Dr. Seuss
So are you an introvert or an extrovert?? What styles resonate with you??