I’m sure most of you have had that or a similar question asked once or twice by colleagues or when you are out and about. If you are a professional it is probably something you can answer.
I have never been able to answer that question and I have often asked myself the same. This is my hobby so I haven’t needed to have the discipline to focus on one style.
For want of a response I normally say something like I really like Black & White but like all types of photography.
Part of me never cared and I felt why should I narrow my options and put a label on what I like to shoot. Obviously one answer was film photography but that doesn’t really answer the question.
I like music and have a wide range of types of music I like, but ultimately one or two genres are mainly what I listen too. Thus why should this be different with photography.
When I walk around with my camera sometimes I am hunting around for something to photograph and this can enventually lead me to take a few shots for the sake of it
When I get my photos back I look at some and whilst a few are OK others I can see that I have tried too hard (and failed) to find an interesting shot.
Thus I have had this urge to work out what is my style.
There are too many genres to list: Street (whatever that means these days), Portrait, Architecture, Landscape, Macro etc etc.
These genres also feel too defined and too narrow to me.
This morning I was sitting on a bus in traffic daydreaming when suddenly it came to me, I do have a style I like and something I would like to pursue and improve on.
It comes back to why I enjoy photography in the first place. For me it’s about being out there on my own with my camera. Taking some time and space away and just switching off from the world. I like to take in the surroundings and just observe and be at peace.
So before I reveal what it is, let me tell you what knowing this means to me.
It means I can now concentrate on this aspect of my photography. It means I will be less concerned about trying to find any old shot. It means that I understand what photography brings to me and why I enjoy it as a hobby.
This has also clarified a few other things for me. I currently have quite a few rolls of expired & discontinued film which I will very much enjoy shooting. That said however longer term I will concentrate only on new film, partly to support the manufacturers that are out there and partly so I can learn that film’s uniqueness and how to take better pictures with it.
So what is my style?
Its not a specific genre or colour. It doesn’t fit neatly into a box. My photography going forward is going to reflect the reasons why I do it in the first place. I will shoot simple, calm and peaceful images, minimum fuss and noise because that why I do it in the first place and my photography should be a reflection of me.