I was asked the following question yesterday.
“Do you find people come to you for your specific style of shooting or do you tailor your look to the client? ”
Such an interesting question. As photographers we are encouraged to develop a particular identifiable style, a vision. For some people their style develops because they choose to use a certain lens, a wide angle for example. For others they process their images in a certain way that gives the work a consistency and makes it theirs. Some develop their style through the influence of art or personal politics. My style comes very much from my viewpoint of the world. It has developed over the years, but I do think that my work has a certain signature and it is identifiably mine. This has been unintentional for the most part.
My style is very much tied into my relationship with the person I am photographing; my love of drama and story and the need to go beyond the pretty; and very much about light and shadow. For the main part my commercial work has a prettiness (rather than a grittiness to it), my fashion work is all about story, cinema and drama, and my personal work is about the look or glance that says more than the smile. The photographs I love are not necessarily what my clients will choose, but there will always be something that speaks to them and that they absolutely love, and that choice is always so interesting to me.
So the question got me thinking (believe me that is a challenge sometimes) . I believe that my clients come to me because they like/love the look or the style of my work. I don’t chop and change to suit, but I do spend time to ask questions and to find out about my client and listen very carefully to what my client dreams of having on their walls, in their heirloom boxes and in their homes and lives. I interpret this through the lens and create the photograph that they love and that has meaning to me too. There is nothing better than processing a shoot and finding the image that makes my heartbeat faster.
Photographic images can be so powerful and meaningful and have the capacity (upon viewing) to stir up emotions and to move us. They (for me) are not just about the pretty, but more about the real, the underneath, the relationships and the moments. This is what runs through my portfolio -whether personal, lifestyle, fashion or commercial. The treatment of the shoot may be different but my underlying motivation is the same.
What are you thoughts?