For the purposes of action nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.” – Henri Frederic Amiel
I was having a conversation with a friend on how narrowing your focus as a photographer can help you find your style faster and more easily. Narrowing your focus in anything in life actually gets you to your goals faster.
She suggested I share my ideas with a photography group we both belong to, that’s when it hit me that I haven’t blogged anything from the heart in recent times… So here I am sharing my thoughts with you!
Its normal for us photographers to follow photographers we want to shoot like and the photographs we want to recreate and such and such.
Now, this is my line of thought: Let’s say we are like 10 photographers, and then we like 100 different photos from 50 other different photographers. At some point, there is a tendency to want to reproduce every photograph that we like and we think this is cool. Good thing right? Yeah, but then you’d become jack of all trades and master of none and you’d rarely find your style this way.
The alternative would be, and which is what I recommend, that you pick 2 or 3 photographers whose body of work you most connect with (Body of work not 1 or 5 photos), and you let that be the pool of photos you want to recreate and experiment with. Chances are that the photographers you select already have their unique style.
1. You’re going to notice that the 2-3 photographers you’ve selected have something similar about their work. This similarity has a lot to do with your personality and what attracts you to their work and will eventually lead you to find your style easier and faster.
2. With time, through practice and trying to recreate their work or produce something similar, you will develop your own style and master it through their influence. But it will be unique to you
When you see interesting photos from photographers outside your chosen 2-3, you’ll admire them, appreciate them and MOVE ON! There’s nothing wrong in appreciating good work, just don’t dwell on them as this can be distracting if you’re still trying to find yourself and your style
Just in case you’re wondering, my work has been greatly influenced by Joey L, Norman Jean Roy and Annie Lebovitz.
I have a whole lot more to say but let me stop here for now. Thank you so so much for taking out time to read my mind, I hope this helps some people on their growth path.