Personal Style

People don’t watch enough. They think. It’s not the same thing.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

If you’re like me you spend countless hours looking at photos, studying every printed image as if it holds the secrets to the universe and watching “how to” videos hoping some of it will seep into our brains and turn us into the next great photographer. I’m amazed at how many of us merely copy the styles of famous photographers, me included. I want to be Richard Avedon, edit cool composites like Dave Hill, create kid photos like Brianna Graham, shoot weddings like Jasmine Star, work light like Joe McNally or create inspiring black and white portraits like the great Cartier-Bresson. That’s never going to happen! And that’s okay, what I can do is take a little from each and create work that is mine.

You might be wondering what is personal style. The above is an introduction to personal style. Developing your own photographic style is not copying someone else’s. Your personal style is extension of your personality your artistic vision. I’m not saying it is wrong to be influenced by another photographer’s work or by trying to copy or duplicate it as part of your learning process. My advice to you is the same I was given, keep making lots and lots of photos, try different things, fail, try again and know if people are critical of your work means they’re taking notice and you are on your way. Reading a book or a website is not the same thing as putting that camera in your hand and snapping the shutter. Remember you can be technically perfect and create garbage because the image lacks vision, artistic flare, it lacks YOU. Stop sitting there thinking everyone is a better photographer than you, they are, because they are out taking pictures. The weather is changing; rain can no longer be your excuse.

Don’t ever quit!

Our group has been invited to partake in an amazing project this year photographing children and their families that are battling cancer or other life threatening diseases. I will be sending out information on how you can get involved with sharing your gift with others who understand how important an image can be. Take a minute and visit: http://www.momentbymoment.org/ and expect information later this week on how you can get involved.

Look forward to seeing many of you this weekend at the ranch portrait/wedding workshop.

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