Thanks to Rob for inviting me back here to guest blog! Last time I spoke about What Inspires You and this time around I’m discussing Finding Your Style. I would love to hear your thoughts as well. Thanks for having me back Rob; it’s always an honor! (ed. note – you’re always welcome here, Angie!)
Recently my husband and I were at the Bruno Mars concert. Since this was for my birthday my husband conceded to going with me. During much of the concert he kept telling me how chaotic his style was and that he was “all over the place”, going from R&B to Reggae, Gospel, Funk, Disco and Rock, to name a few musical genres that were covered. While this was certainly the case there’s something cohesive about his style even though he was jumping from one genre to another. Kindly, my husband still does not agree with me.
I bring this up because, personally, I think it’s important for any artist to find their own unique style. Some artists find their niche quickly, for others it takes years. I definitely fall into the latter category. I’ve been at this photography thing for over 10 years and I think I’ve only begun to really find my voice in the last 2 years. And, oddly, it just sort-of came out of nowhere, this sudden clicking with what spoke to me and seemed to resonate with those viewing my work.
But believe me, I put in much time moving from one genre of photography to another, feeling a bit lost, before this happened. As photographers, I think we all (or most of us) do this. We try street, landscapes, portraits, still life, architecture and much more. And then we try various styles within these genres. I think it takes time to find your vision and passion, to find that place that feels like home, some of us longer than others.
I’m sure we’ve all heard Henri Cartier-Bresson’s quote: “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” I’d have to agree; I think there’s a steep learning curve not only with the technical aspects of the craft, but more importantly with finding your artistic voice. Until you find this I don’t know that you can fluently communicate what you want to say with your work. The most successful photographers out there have a distinct style even when they cross genres, Edward Weston and Michael Kenna for example.
The important thing is that you keep working toward this goal. To quote Zack Arias “…don’t force it. Style has to arrive. It doesn’t arrive announced either; it just sort of sneaks up on you one day…”
I’d love to hear about your journey and see how your style communicates your vision!