I’m often told (really, I am) that I have a certain style, and I’m often asked how I go about creating that style. Whilst I’ve happily explained how I create my images many times to those attending my workshops, I’ve chosen never to put my methods online. This hasn’t in any way been a result of me holding on to a deep secret, it’s simply that I’m not a devotee of sharing everything on social media and that I much prefer to engage with people in the real world.
If you’re newish to photography, and by that, I mean you started out in landscape photography in the digital camera/social media era, then it’s reasonably safe to assume that you’ve been influenced or inspired by images you’ve see online. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired in this way, but it can lead to your images looking the same as everyone elses and you may find you don’;t end upo developing your own style. So, if you’ve fallen into this way of working and your images aren’t easily distinguished, then how do you overcome this and break the shackles of social media’s influence on your own photography? Well, you can do what I do and that is look towards things I see in nature, look at the work of the great historical figures such as Lonarod Da Vinci or look at patterns or shapes around my home or on my journey to work, and set myself a goal to capture something interesting.
This methodology is something I developed in my youth when I first held a camera. Like many photographers, I had to develop on my own style because quite simply, there were no influential photographers on my radar to learn from when I was starting out. There was no social media, youtube or internet, there were only 3 TV channels and the local newsagent never stocked anything other than newspapers and the farmer’s weekly. If this makes it sound like a thousand years ago, then it’s worth mentioning that it was only 20 years ago that if you had a mobile phone, it was a company phone like the Nokia 6110. Also, working in the IT industry at the time, I can tell you that very few homes had a personal computer and even fewre homes had an internet connection, which back then was on dial up. So, it kind of puts things in perspective. Anyway, brief history lesson over.