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Developing your style #photography

Most people have heard of David Bailey who shot to fame as a photographer after he took fashion photos of Jean Shrimpton in New York for Vogue. He refused to conform to the accepted norm for fashion photography. Photographers with their own style will always be more successful. Martin Parr, not known for fashion photography produced something different too and has recently been doing a commission for Gucci. If you Google fine art photography you will see almost every image is in the same style. Flick through a fashion magazine and you’ll see the same boring old story, image after image, with the originality photo-shopped out of them. Developing your style can be done with any camera, you don’t need an expensive DSLR. David Bailey shunned the expensive cameras and used his own 35mm for the New York shoot.

developing your style

Developing your style

To get a shot like this you have to get up close and personal and then your subject feels uncomfortable and it shows in the photograph. I took this shot at 240mm with a 55 – 300 mm lens so wasn’t invading people’s personal space. For these shots, I needed fast shutter speeds, so raised the ISO to 200 and all the shots were shot wide open. I managed 1/320 of a second for this shot, not only freezing any movement but eliminating camera shake too.

Medieval Merriment

I took all these shots at a Medieval weekend at West Bromwich Manor House. The enactors were willing subjects and so all the photos look quite natural and I didn’t ask anyone to pose for photos. The disadvantage with using the 55 – 300 mm lens is I can’t zoom out for some shots. I was saving for a Nikon D750 with a 28 – 300 lens which would be perfect for what I want to do. I could also put the 28 – 300 lens on my D3200 for a reach of 42 – 450 which would be interesting! I’ll consider an upgrade next year but for now, my D3200 is producing quite good pictures like this. I’ll still use my 18 – 105mm lens for other events but I’ll still mostly shoot wide open and stay out of people’s personal space by zooming in as much as possible. I’m quite tall as well, so zooming in looks better. If I am too close to people the camera tends to point down at them.

Developing your style, a style of your own that makes your images stand out isn’t easy. You have to be observant and look for the shots and you have to experiment. If you have a DSLR, try different lenses. Try the prime lenses and the art lenses and see what you can do. Don’t edit the life out of your images but experiment with editing as well. You can make images lighter or darker, make them a little sharper and correct colour balance but the style is often about imperfections.

That’s all for today, I’ll end with some more photos from last weekends shoot. If you would like to follow my blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for links. You’ll find links and more on my Facebook page too.

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