How would you describe your photography style?

SearcySearcy Posts: 665Member
edited January 2 in General Discussions
We have a lot of different types of photographers on this forum. While we spend a lot of time arguing over gear we don't seem to spend much time talking about our photography.

After spending years playing around with "point and click" 35mm and 110mm pocket cameras I eventually entered the world of digital with a Sony Mavica FD73. My work was hobby rate, randomness until about 2013 when I was asked to photograph a fashion show. I had no idea what I was doing. I was ill prepared and my results were horrible. That's when I started really getting serious about my results.

I shoot people at events. That's what I do. While I occasionally entertain myself with light studies and such I mostly shoot un-posed people at events and runway models. There are a lot of rules for shooting runway which I mostly ignore. This has gotten me invited back to a lot of events and shows and I have even been asked to serve as photography director on multiple events.

So what asked I tell people that I shoot events, fashion runway and fashion editorial primarily.

What do you shoot and why do you shoot it? Feel free to post a favorite photo to illustrate what you do.

Post edited by Searcy on
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Comments

  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 410Member


    I photograph wildlife, and if I could it would be foxes all day. I have been doing this mostly to get me outside and it works well to increase my stamina, super-tele lenses are rather fantastic at that. I do on occasion photograph people at events like weddings, but they had best be well paying as I can't be bothered with bridezilla.
  • SearcySearcy Posts: 665Member
    photobunny, that is an amazing shot!!

  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 976Member
    I photograph birds for my birding apps. Because of this I try to make the photographs illustrative and I try to stay away from any artistic input from myself (although I can get creative just for fun). I think my style can be described as boring but hopefully esthetically pleasing and illustrative. I sometimes think of my photography as trying to remove myself from the process.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.snakebunk.guide.birds
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.snakebunk.birds
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 410Member
    Searcy said:

    photobunny, that is an amazing shot!!

    Thanks, it was a hard one to get. I was using a Canon 5DII with the 300mm f/2.8 L from 1988 at the time. I am now spoiled by my Z6, hundreds of good AF points vs one.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 222Member
    When I built a new website early last year with Squarespace (ditching WordPress) I played with several different ideas for a catchphrase. I finally came up with: Beauty, Peace, Simplicity. I realize that's generic as to subject matter, but I focus on beautiful scenes and try to keep it simple. (I do NOT do people and/or events). My subject matter includes wildlife and landscape (especially Arizona), wild cats (natural but in captivity), and European architecture.
    https://www.fredhoodphotography.com/
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,574Member
    Very nice image Photobunny. Nice website Fred.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,308Member
    edited January 5
    My event photography style is totally determined from about 1985 when I joined the MPA and BIPP. You submit 12 photos "without errors" to get in. So from then on the bride must always be on the grooms left, its either all jackets fastended or all open, no dips in the line up of a group. Tie done up right, No stray hands. One of my favourite comments is " you are standing like you are waiting for a bus" Comments range from "this bloke knows how to get it right " to " come on do what Hitler says" dependent on the social background and intelligence of the assembled masses.
    So my style is nothing sloppy,be quick and use a megaphone.
    https://www.1and1Photography.co.uk
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,173Member
    You've all seen my stuff in the various photo threads. I do a bit of everything. Originally purchased a DSLR to take pics of my kids, but then I soon started doing urban exploration photography which was something I was always interested in. I also take a lot of pics of my middle daughter's soccer games. Its a lot of fun - very challenging.

    Train station awning at sunset
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 606Member
    edited January 11
    I got a Kodak Brownie camera (still have it) when I was a kid in the late 50s. I soon found out it wouldn't do the kinds of things I wanted. No action stopping shutter speeds there. I became more serious about it in the early 70s focusing (NPI) on motor racing, aircraft and nature/landscape using a stable of Minolta SR-Ts and X bodies and later a Rolliecord. Moved over to digital in 2012. Still shooting the same subjects. Have tried my hand at a few portraits for fun.
    Post edited by Capt_Spaulding on
  • bcmmikebcmmike Posts: 20Member
    Is "still learning/making more mistakes than I care to admit" a style? B) I'm a hobbyist, just started about 8 years ago. I shoot birds mostly.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,308Member
    edited February 25
    I dont think you can have a style in bird photography, only a specialism. Say BIF ,eagles, chicks etc . You have no control over the subject so how can you impose your will on it? You can only master your equipment and technique to capture what the bird gives you.
    You can have a style in Portraiture or Wedding photography because you have control over your subject and can bend it to your wishes to give it your style. You can specialise in astro or landscape.
    To have style you have to add something to the subject of yourself. Rockwell can do this with his false colour giving each of his photos "his style" but just to blast away at a bird or a landscape adds nothing of the photographer.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,574Member

    I dont think you can have a style in bird photography, only a specialism. Say BIF ,eagles, chicks etc . You have no control over the subject so how can you impose your will on it? You can only master your equipment and technique to capture what the bird gives you.
    You can have a style in Portraiture or Wedding photography because you have control over your subject and can bend it to your wishes to give it your style. You can specialise in astro or landscape.
    To have style you have to add something to the subject of yourself. Rockwell can do this with his false colour giving each of his photos "his style" but just to blast away at a bird or a landscape adds nothing of the photographer.

    Eh? Framing. Shutter speed. .....................
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,308Member
    edited February 26
    Framing and shutter speed is just the technology to record an image.Was adjusting an old manual film camera settings "style" ? If you have not put anything of yourself into the image ,you have not changed it to your style.
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,441Moderator
    edited February 26
    Am I right in saying that Bird photography is all about recording as accurate an image of the specimen as possible? If so, 'style' is likely to detract from the finished article surely? If artistic interpretation has a place, then yes, style could have a place in the image.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,308Member
    Some of this comes down to is photography a Craft or a profession. If a professor is someone who talks about a subject "professes" then its a Craft. Or is a professional photographer someone who earns there living through it?I can see how you can put a style into portraiture of which some wedding photography is an extension but I have trouble with Birds and (oops) macro.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 976Member
    We have been having cold weather in Sweden and a friend of mine has been going regularly to a stream with strange and beautiful ice formations, where he has been shooting dippers. He is often shooting in black and white and using very long exposures, sometimes only the eye of the bird is sharp. He often keep the birds small so that they are only a part of the landscape. He makes beautiful and popular photographs that works well in a gallery.

    If I was to shoot dippers I would try to get close, use a short exposure and shoot in color. I do it like this because I photograph birds for illustrative purposes (I use the photographs in bird guides and quiz apps).

    I think the possibilities of bird photography are endless. Another friend of mine is always talking about getting the moment, trying to capture birds in unexpected moments. And so on, I could really go on until noone is reading anymore :).
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,308Member
    edited February 26
    Snakebunk ...super effort but is that style?
    The definition says ..a unique way of doing something, typical of a particular photographer ....
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 976Member
    Yes, to me it is a style. I see lots of people doing the same thing, but also lots of people with a style of their own. As long as you are creative and ready to put some effort into what you do, I don't see any limits.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,441Moderator
    Very good point @snakebunk, although I think that your friends style - very good though it is - makes it a more creative photograph and less a record photograph. Your post reveals more about you than you've revealed previously. Interesting.
    Always learning.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 606Member
    edited February 28
    I am hopelessly dense. Rereading all the posts, (mine included) I'm still not much closer to understanding what "style" truly is. Searcy's question, "what do you shoot and why do you shoot it?" seems to get only part of the way there. Adding "how you shoot it?" to the question helps a bit, but doesn't get me there.

    The shots I find most rewarding are those that try to capture a mood or a feeling. A few years my wife and I visited our youngest son who was working in northern VA. We spent a day at Gettysburg and I was struck with a profound sense of melancholy. So many lives ended so tragically. I took a number of images, some of which I like. But, I never really managed to capture the mood.

    My thinking is a successful image is one that conveys the feeling without a verbal explanation. At the day 3 battlefield - the site of Pickett's fatal charge - the ghosts talk to you. Capturing their words in an image is a challenge to which I have been unable to rise.

    Motorsports are more straightforward, particularly endurance racing at night. Whether it is two cars closing on a corner that will accommodate only one - exhausts spitting flames, brakes glowing cherry red - or two motorcycles almost touching handlebars, at impossible lean angles, tires sliding into a turn - translating that feeling into a 2 dimensional image. How does that translate into the language of "style?" Damn! I am such a novice.
    Post edited by Capt_Spaulding on
  • bcmmikebcmmike Posts: 20Member

    I am hopelessly dense. Rereading all the posts, (mine included) I'm still not much closer to understanding what "style" truly is. Searcy's question, "what do you shoot and why do you shoot it?" seems to get only part of the way there. Adding "how you shoot it?" to the question helps a bit, but doesn't get me there.

    The shots I find most rewarding are those that try to capture a mood or a feeling. A few years my wife and I visited our youngest son who was working in northern VA. We spent a day at Gettysburg and I was struck with a profound sense of melancholy. So many lives ended so tragically. I took a number of images, some of which I like. But, I never really managed to capture the mood.

    My thinking is a successful image is one that conveys the feeling without a verbal explanation. At the day 3 battlefield - the site of Pickett's fatal charge - the ghosts talk to you. Capturing their words in an image is a challenge to which I have been unable to rise.

    Motorsports are more straightforward, particularly endurance racing at night. Whether it is two cars closing on a corner that will accommodate only one - exhausts spitting flames, brakes glowing cherry red - or two motorcycles almost touching handlebars, at impossible lean angles, tires sliding into a turn - translating that feeling into a 2 dimensional image. How does that translate into the language of "style?" Damn! I am such a novice.

    Agreed about Gettysburg. I've taken some shoots there that are visually good but do not come close to conveying the heavy/somber pall that just permeates that place. I've never been able to properly capture the mood there either.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    Industrial for work, travel for pleasure.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,441Moderator
    @Capt_Spaulding : I'd describe style as your particular & individual way of taking or processing photographs. It would usually be consistent throughout your photos of at least the same genre and possibly more than one genre.

    Always learning.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 976Member
    I agree with spraynpray but would like to add an alternative way to describe style.

    If I give five photographers that I know well a specific assignment, for example "photograph gulls in Gothenburg harbour and send me the ten photographs that you like the most in an anonymous letter".

    Then style would be the photographic quality that makes it possible for me to tell which photographer has sent which letter. If I fail, I either don't know the photographers well enough, or their styles are too similar.
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