Every now and then you will hear people talking about “photography style” of a particular photographer. But it makes me wonder what defines “photography style”. Is it the genre one usually take, a subject that one usually focus on, a processing technique that one usually use, or is it something else?
I know there are people who shoot exclusively on streets, some landscape, while others maybe portraiture. Some go for high contrast black and white processing, some prefer over saturated HDR processing while some will stay neutral. Some likes to frame subject dead centre, some prefer to shoot wide open all the time. So my question is: “What defines photography style?”
I believe a lot of times people will just classify “style” based on the genre. “His style is street photography”, “Her style is family portraiture”, but I think a “style” goes far beyond that. For example, when you look at the portfolio of a wedding photographer, you will get to know whether his style is more intimate or he is more towards environment portraiture, whether he is natural light or flash heavy shooter, the way one perceives light, the way one look at moments and so on.
Hence, to me these every little things that add up will define the “style” of a photographer. Or maybe we can put it in another way, it’s their “shooting preference” or what they “excel in”. For me, I’m probably considered as a “free style” photographer at the moment. I shoot whatever that interest me. From landscape to street, architecture to macro, less on portraiture though. At least up until now.
My thinking before this was that I wanted to try and learn all the different genre of photography. To be fair, I’m still fairly new to photography world and there are still a whole lot for me to learn. I do have some thoughts on what should I shoot moving forward, hopefully I can shape my “style” soon.