on vision and style

01.16.2008

Lots of questions coming in from people about vision and style.

Very few photographers know where to start. Here’s the million dollar secret, are you ready? —-And it’s free—-

It all starts with your vision; your own unique way of seeing things. It takes a while to develop; it takes work, lots of it.

Where does your vision come from? It comes from your passion in life.
What do you love?
What do you like to do?
What type of people do you hang out with?

It all begins here.

After you figure out your passion you need to apply it to your personal vision. Your personal vision is your way of seeing things; type of subjects, camera position, lighting, post process and colors used. They all need to work together and flow from image to image.

Here are some photographers whose work I feel has a definitive vision and style:

Aaron Ruell
David Bowman
Julian Wolkenstein
Dana Neibert
William Huber
Henry Blackham
Edlo Kawa

A must read on this topic is Selina Maitreya’s book Portfolios That Sell. In the book she gives you tips and steps toward finding your own unique vision and style.

Better yet- Hire her. She’s a phenomenal talent and a wonderful person to work with. She’ll help get you to the level you want to be at.

A great quote I found over at AVS that kind of sums it up nicely:

“Here’s the dilemma and the strength of photography. It’s the easiest medium in which to be competent. But, it’s the hardest medium in which to have personal vision that is readily identifiable.” – Chuck Close

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4 Responses to “on vision and style”

  1. fotokew Says:

    this is a great post! thanks

  2. Ryan Cardone Says:

    I agree with fotokew, thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Frank Says:

    I’m grappling with this issue. Unfortunately I cant afford a consultant but….

    All the pictures in each listed portfolio have the same strong style. The ‘handwriting’. The ‘vision’. Whether this is done ‘in camera’, or in the darkroom, or in Photoshop is irrelevant. There is a defined ‘look’. This gives an identity that allows galleries and clients to use. All successful photographers have this – Avedon’s stark white backgrounds and so on & on….My question is does each of you shoot or treat ALL your pictures this way, everything, or do you also shoot straight & clear, B&W/colour too…but that you only SHOW the world these pictures. I’m just wondering if a style becomes so ‘you’ that you dont anything else….not even regular family album snaps any other way? And if this is the case does it not get so saturated where you just want to break out and do something else ?
    Of course it’s a loaded question…I’ve been shooting for ages and never enjoyed success (gallery or other). I get compliments but no takers. And I know the reason is that I shoot everything and in every which way. There is no tag. Being a sanguine personality I cant help myself. But…if I’m to find any gallery representation or assignment clients I’m gonna have to develop a schtick and hang onto it.
    I welcome viewing my work at http://www.frankgross.com and comments/advice.
    Frank


  4. […] balancing act plan, what plan? approchable the whole package essential creativity in business the naysayers on vis… […]


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