I am constantly being inspired by everything around me. All.The.Time. A lot of the times I’m inspired by my peers or some of the GREATS, other times it could be as random as a location I drive by and in an instant I can visualize the entire photo shoot. My brain is just wired like that, 24/7. When I’m inspired by other photographers or artists or creative types I think the key is to see it, be inspired by their imagery or creation and then quickly write down my own creative ideas or sketch out the ideas in my head from what inspired me. Was it a color? A prop? A type of clothing? Or was it a feeling it gave me? Once I’ve complied my own ideas then I leave that image alone. I have found that when I refer back to a photo again and again that originally inspired me then the lines between inspiration and copy become very blurry. Instead, I refer back to my notes as to what I was feeling, thinking about or visualizing when I was inspired. But in all honesty I could look at another photographers photo and have literally the exact same tools, resources (models, location, lighting) and my photo will come out very different. That difference is called style. We each bring it with us where ever we go and it manifests itself in EVERYTHING we do…whether we know it or not. The photo above is from a fashion photog that I really admire, Melissa Rodwell. I remember reading a post on her blog long ago about understanding and defining your style. I had to do some digging, but I found it and just wanted to link it up HERE as I think she said it perfectly.
I feel like I’m truly in that ‘in-between-stage’ in defining my style, however the more and more I shoot the more and more my work comes together to look consistent and cohesive. The other day I created a profile account for myself (as a photographer) on a website and I had to include 3 of my images. If you want a little exercise in ‘defining your style’ then try selecting ONLY 3 images. I have so many favorite photos that narrowing it down to just 3 was hard, let alone having to DEFINE my style with them. I don’t know if I chose the “right” three for me, but I do know that for today, for this week, I feel like I will let these photos define me and my style.
So go ahead…if you’re a photographer come up with your 3 images you’ve shot that you think really define your style. If you’re not a photog then select 3 images that you love that define you as a person. I think when you see those 3 images side by side you will be able to better put into words the type of photographer, or person, you are.
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