Feb 26, 2013

⎨Evolution of Style⎬

A few months ago, my friend Julie and I were talking about photo styles and she told me that I have a very distinct style, that she can tell my work apart from other people's. I was very flattered, but I had been thinking about this subject for a while and I disagreed. Some people have a very recognizable style, a combination of subject, light and shadows, and composition, but I had come to the conclusion that I have several styles, and I was just starting to be okay with that. 


There are several styles that I admire greatly. When it comes to portraits, I admire Richard Avedon's understated style. I want to make portraits that are simple, on a clean canvas (often, a wall) but at the same time, I want to make more environmental portraits that do have a cluttered background. Or if not cluttered, at least something that's not simply a wall. In life as in photography, I need a lot of quiet, but I thrive in noisy environments. I'm messy but I love uncluttered spaces. This dichotomy is such an integral part of me that it makes sense that it would reflect in my choice of subjects and my style. 

I could stare at a Jim Marshall photograph of the Rolling Stones recording an album and feel like crying because of the beauty of the image and the moment, and feel the same way about a photograph of a cup of tea on a mat in a Japanese café. Both mean as much to me, and both are reflections of the things I want to see and never take for granted in life. I want to make great portraits of artists at work and I want to capture quiet moments, the way Japanese photographers manage to do amidst the hustle and bustle of big sprawling cities.

But when I think about it, more than a particular style, I think my photography is about a certain color palette. If those colors are not around me, I simply don't take out my camera, or if I do, I'm usually disappointed by the results and no-one but me gets to see them. There are many of them, trust me. 


Another important thing for me is to create a photo that has a timeless atmosphere. That's most essential when making portraits. I don't want someone else to look at my photos ten or twenty years from now and think, oh that was so 2012! Sometimes, I achieve that result, but lately, I haven't been making portraits so that aim has sort of fallen by the wayside. 



  1. I love these posts from you, Anne. You have such a way with words as well as photos! And I can definitely relate to your thoughts on finding your style. I've been told lots of times that I have a distinct style and I just think, "Really? What is it? Please tell me because I have no idea!" ;)

    It certainly is a lot of fun to have the freedom to explore all these different avenues, though. I think so long as we are shooting what means something to us, our vision and style will shine through without us having to worry much about it.

    So, basically: keep on keepin' on!

  2. ooh I totally agree. There are certain colours that I just don't like photographing. I too find that I swing between wanting the white background verses the wooden background for food photos for example. Consequently I'm having a hard time deciding whether our new dining table should be white or wood! I think your photos are beautiful.

  3. I always love reading posts about photography styles and finding your voice. Interesting take about colors being part of your style, but now that I think about it, it's totally true. Some of my most fav photogs have a certain color theme that I can always pick out, even if I see their pictures apart from their blog/tumblr/etc. Anyway, it's something I'm struggling with too. I think sometimes I get so influenced or admire another photog so much that I start to copy their style and lose my own voice. Ah well. Such a fascinating topic.

  4. I have a number of photography blogs in my Google Reader, and I have to let you know, Anne - I know your work when I see it. Vision and style are things that are unique to each and every one of us - what we choose to capture with our cameras speaks volumes, even those that we choose not to share.

    I am guilty of sticking with what is familiar, I would like to push myself out of my comfort zone, and that would involve portraits! I love your comment about capturing a timeless atmosphere, moments that withstand the test of time. And you definitely capture that in your portraits.

    1. Thank you for your nice comment, Azzari! I absolutely adore your work and also know it when I see it. I would love to see portraits you make. I'm sure they would be incredible. With your use of that very specific light you find and your vision, they would be one of a kind.