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Photographer
Martin-Manuel Beaulne
Posts: 495
Longueuil, Quebec, Canada


Hi all fellow photographers. I was wondering... am I alone in this situation ?

I feel my style is changing, as time goes by, for a lot of reasons. Economical ( my worst fear always been to « have to » make some changes in my style to please more public, and get more shoots. It kills art. ), Social ( people more and more exposing theirself, on FB and such, thus not wanting to shoot nude because pictures travel faster today... ), Personal taste, Creativity, Bad Experiences....

All those are modifying my style, my envy to shoot this or that.

I'm wondering if it happened to you, and how, for what reason.

* I am not talking about your progression as a photographer, allowing more stuff to be done... which has nothing to do with the... pulse.
Nov 14 12 09:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,440
Seattle, Washington, US


the only thing that modifies my style is my personal growth as a photographer. i learn to see new things. i learn to simplify. i learn more and more what i truly love to photograph.
Nov 14 12 09:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Martin-Manuel Beaulne
Posts: 495
Longueuil, Quebec, Canada


Mark Laubenheimer wrote:
i learn to simplify. i learn more and more what i truly love to photograph.

Do you really lean to simplify or do you grow a taste for more simple concepts ?

Nov 14 12 09:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,440
Seattle, Washington, US


Martin-Manuel Beaulne wrote:

Do you really lean to simplify or do you grow a taste for more simple concepts ?

learning and growing a taste are the same thing to me.

Nov 14 12 09:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Martin-Manuel Beaulne
Posts: 495
Longueuil, Quebec, Canada


I don't know.

Sometimes I see the world with a lot of pessimism. Sometimes I hate how certain types of models use the image projected by their pictures, so it turns me off about doing these images. Sometimes it's the critics. Both have somthing to do with my pulse of creating these images...
Nov 14 12 10:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,440
Seattle, Washington, US


i hear ya....

sigh....this thread has hardly any replies....yet the iphone and no lighting has at least 38 replies.
Nov 14 12 11:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Solas
Posts: 9,486
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


evolution is necessary to develop a style at all, there's no "end" point and no "beginning" or adopting a style, only adaption.

the process of seeing a style modify over time is watching the style 'become' - you can modify it, change it's path (or shut it down) like an electrical conduit.
Nov 14 12 11:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Martin-Manuel Beaulne
Posts: 495
Longueuil, Quebec, Canada


Karl, I think you're right.

But I also think, sometimes, when you change your vision of the world, or some aspects of it which does not relate to photography, your photography "style" will change. That's why I talked about economy, social waves, etc...

The main question was "Am I alone in this situation ? If not, how did yours changed, and why.", but your two answers told me I, indeed, am alone... you seem to consider your photography style change only from a photography point of view.

Maybe I don't see my photo work as I should...
Nov 14 12 12:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,440
Seattle, Washington, US


Martin-Manuel Beaulne wrote:
Karl, I think you're right.

But I also think, sometimes, when you change your vision of the world, or some aspects of it which does not relate to photography, your photography "style" will change. That's why I talked about economy, social waves, etc...

The main question was "Am I alone in this situation ? If not, how did yours changed, and why.", but your two answers told me I, indeed, am alone... you seem to consider your photography style change only from a photography point of view.

Maybe I don't see my photo work as I should...

well....there is the fine artist that creates personal work (i fall into this category). then there is the other type of photographer that is creating work with a client in mind.

a fine artist perhaps has no need to think about outside variables....

Nov 14 12 12:19 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,024
New York, New York, US


Martin-Manuel Beaulne wrote:
Karl, I think you're right.

But I also think, sometimes, when you change your vision of the world, or some aspects of it which does not relate to photography, your photography "style" will change. That's why I talked about economy, social waves, etc...

The main question was "Am I alone in this situation ? If not, how did yours changed, and why.", but your two answers told me I, indeed, am alone... you seem to consider your photography style change only from a photography point of view.

Maybe I don't see my photo work as I should...
Mark Laubenheimer wrote:
well....there is the fine artist that creates personal work (i fall into this category). then there is the other type of photographer that is creating work with a client in mind.

a fine artist perhaps has no need to think about outside variables....

I don't know if that's true.

Perhaps if you're just creating your work for yourself it is, and sure that's how we all start, but what about when you start selling?  30% of what I do is gallery sales, and delivering "what sells" is certainly something that is on my mind, if not naturally, it certainly is when my gallarista calls.  Or when I present what I think is a really great idea, and she agrees that it is, only to tell me that no one will buy it.

Read Bloomberg Art News everyday and keep on top of what's being sold.  It is a market, a business.  I'm about to shoot two more still life series.  One, I think is solid and quite good.  The other is banal.  I will probably have both exhibited and I will get some nice things written about the first, but producing it will cost be money.  The second, the banal one, we estimate will net me $50k in no more than five years.  That's an outside variable that is sometimes hard to ignore.

I also get commissioned to do artwork.  Not commercial work, artwork.  Yes, I get to do what I want, but the customer still has to like it...

Nov 14 12 12:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,440
Seattle, Washington, US


Paramour Productions wrote:

Martin-Manuel Beaulne wrote:
Karl, I think you're right.

But I also think, sometimes, when you change your vision of the world, or some aspects of it which does not relate to photography, your photography "style" will change. That's why I talked about economy, social waves, etc...

The main question was "Am I alone in this situation ? If not, how did yours changed, and why.", but your two answers told me I, indeed, am alone... you seem to consider your photography style change only from a photography point of view.

Maybe I don't see my photo work as I should...

I don't know if that's true.

Perhaps if you're just creating your work for yourself it is, and sure that's how we all start, but what about when you start selling?  30% of what I do is gallery sales, and delivering "what sells" is certainly something that is on my mind, if not naturally, it certainly is when my gallarista calls.  Or when I present what I think is a really great idea, and she agrees that it is, only to tell me that no one will buy it.

Read Bloomberg Art News everyday and keep on top of what's being sold.  It is a market, a business.  I'm about to shoot two more still life series.  One, I think is solid and quite good.  The other is banal.  I will probably have both exhibited and I will get some nice things written about the first, but producing it will cost be money.  The second, the banal one, we estimate will net me $50k in no more than five years.  That's an outside variable that is sometimes hard to ignore.

I also get commissioned to do artwork.  Not commercial work, artwork.  Yes, I get to do what I want, but the customer still has to like it...

ah, but then perhaps one is no longer a fine artist...

Nov 14 12 12:31 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,024
New York, New York, US


Mark Laubenheimer wrote:
ah, but then perhaps one is no longer a fine artist...

I don't agree with that.  And, as much as the romantic notion of the "starving artist" is popularized, history doesn't really agree with that either.  Sure, there are outliers, but most are not van Gogh.  Most artists, that we celebrate today, did much of their best work for patrons.  At the end of the day, you still need to eat. This is true for painters, sculptors, composers, instrumentalists, authors, etc.

Usually when I hear that argument (and I'm not saying this is you - I don't know you) it is by someone with left over teenage angst that is just upset that they're not successful.  And hell, let's face it, we ALL feel that way sometimes.  But being an artist, and yes, this includes being a fine artist, is about existing, creating, developing, showing, being appreciated and selling in a world larger than one's own bedroom.

Nov 14 12 12:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,440
Seattle, Washington, US


Paramour Productions wrote:
I don't agree with that.  And, as much as the romantic notion of the "starving artist" is popularized, history doesn't really agree with that either.  Sure, there are outliers, but most are not van Gogh.  Most artists, that we celebrate today, did much of their best work for patrons.  At the end of the day, you still need to eat. This is true for painters, sculptors, composers, instrumentalists, authors, etc.

Usually when I hear that argument (and I'm not saying this is you - I don't know you) it is by someone with left over teenage angst that is just upset that they're not successful.  And hell, let's face it, we ALL feel that way sometimes.  But being an artist, and yes, this includes being a fine artist, is about existing, creating, developing, showing, being appreciated and selling in a world larger than one's own bedroom.

you still have to stay true to yourself.  no one likes a sellout.

but i understand what you are saying.

Nov 14 12 12:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Kirk
Posts: 4,423
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Martin-Manuel Beaulne wrote:
Karl, I think you're right.

But I also think, sometimes, when you change your vision of the world, or some aspects of it which does not relate to photography, your photography "style" will change. That's why I talked about economy, social waves, etc...

The main question was "Am I alone in this situation ? If not, how did yours changed, and why.", but your two answers told me I, indeed, am alone... you seem to consider your photography style change only from a photography point of view.

Maybe I don't see my photo work as I should...

I agree that things outside of photography knowledge/skills/experience may well affect your photography style.  I would like to think that these effects are not as transient as things such as economy, social waves etc. but rather more along the lines of what I think Mark  L. was referring to in terms of personal growth affecting style and changes in taste being inherently tied to personal growth.

For example, my daughters involvement in dance changed the way I perceive dance instruction (and dance as an activity for children).  This certainly affected my photography in terms of me having an interest in shooting some dance phots as well as how I envisoned shooting dancers.  I think about how dance can help to positively shape an individual both physically and mentally and how developing such focus and discipline (I am speaking of serious dance students) will provide a foundation for good life skills and habits in their future.  I believe this is a perspective that i would not as likely have obtained (and had any desire to portray) had I not been father of child involved in dance.

I believe that portrait photography (done well) reflects as much about the photographer as the subject which is what makes seeing a body of work of a single photographer (many subjects) or a single subject shot by many photographers so interesting.

Nov 14 12 12:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S W I N S K E Y
Posts: 24,315
Saint Petersburg, Florida, US


laziness has changed my style a great deal....

i don't ever feel like dragging out and setting up equipment, so lots more natural light these days...i dont like coming up with concepts, so i shoot way more nudes...i dont like looking for models, so i shoot whoever shows the most interest..

i kinda like the evolution...

http://i.imgur.com/m8TQi.png
Nov 14 12 01:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DAN CRUIKSHANK
Posts: 1,786
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


I'm still a young photographer. My goal is to produce creative work that I will be able to show in galleries. Recently I decided to focus on these personal projects exclusively. I have never shot for someone else, or for pay... So I figured why start now, why shoot anything other than what I want to shoot?

In the back of my mind I understand that this may be futile, but for the time being I have decided to remain focused on my personal creative work, rather than pursue what is commercially viable.
Nov 14 12 01:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lee Nutter
Posts: 160
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


It's not change for the sake of change, it's conscious evolution.
Nov 14 12 04:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Raoul Isidro Images
Posts: 6,048
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


"I have seen this field before, at a different time, and I have kept it in my pocket." --- Wellington.

You develop a style and keep it. It never gets lost.

And when the time comes to do battle with Napoleon, you get it out of your pocket.

.
Nov 14 12 04:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Martin-Manuel Beaulne
Posts: 495
Longueuil, Quebec, Canada


Mark Laubenheimer wrote:
well....there is the fine artist that creates personal work (i fall into this category). then there is the other type of photographer that is creating work with a client in mind.

a fine artist perhaps has no need to think about outside variables....

I'm not necessarily talking about money or buyers. I'm talking more about how I see things in life. Politics will affect my style. Death in the family will affect how I will shoot my next nudes, etc.

A photographer said, once: « It is me you see when you look at my pictures » for a photographer ( a fine artist, that is ) will create art from what he sees of a, say, model.

As I change, I see the world differently, so I create different art.

In Blade Runner, the Nexus 6 robot says to the eye designer a very interesting thing: « If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes », which meant he was more than a pair of eyes and could understand life through what he saw.

Today, I could say the same thing to the guy who designed my camera lens « Look at my pictures, you will see what I've seen with your lens » in a way that... I didn't just saw things through the lens but used it as a mirror of my comprehension ( passion or disdain, sometimes ) of the world.

In Twelve Monkeys, James Cole says how different the same movie could look, depending on when you look at it: « The movie doesn't change, but you see it differently because you've changed ». When you change, you will definetely create art differently, even for a « I shoot existing things » photographer, because your style, your pulse will be different.

That is how I feel it. That is why, even if I say that my style changes not only because of « photography things », I disagree with the:
« a fine artist perhaps has no need to think about outside variables »

In fact, I think a fine artist has to think about outside variables.

S W I N S K E Y wrote:
laziness has changed my style a great deal....

That is very true too, but it seems to be a lack of passion instead of a style change.

Nevertheless, I feel it too, sometimes, when depression comes smile

Nov 14 12 05:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,599
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


My style just tended to evolve into where it is now.... it was less a conscious change, and more along the lines of figuring out which type of lighting I like- and it just moved around from there. Heck, i'll be honest: I hadn't even realized I made a style change during a shoot, just that the images (and my preferences for post, if any) had changed between one shoot and the other. It's always been completely a fluid change and a smooth transition, too.
Nov 14 12 06:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
S W I N S K E Y
Posts: 24,315
Saint Petersburg, Florida, US


Martin-Manuel Beaulne wrote:
That is very true too, but it seems to be a lack of passion instead of a style change.

lolz..

http://i.imgur.com/m8TQi.png

Nov 15 12 06:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sean J Photo
Posts: 5
Storrs, Connecticut, US


Changing style is the worst thing ever. I do it all the time, but to build up a base of work, you want to display the style that you will be shooting with potential future clients.

If you only shoot for fun, it's not an issue. If you want to make money, it's horrible. I mean, as I have progressed, I change style every year. I try to stay consistent but that's like asking the sun not to set.

Why would I say it's bad for making money? Well, I make money selling artistic prints. But the way to sell prints is to build a fan base who want to buy your photos. It's hard to build a base if you do something different every week. Or if you're working with clients like I also sometime do, you want to show them what they will get from you when they work with you. If your old work is irrelevant, then your clients might feel like you deceived them with the final product.

That's just my two cents. Change is good, but hurts my wallet.
Nov 15 12 07:48 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Kirk
Posts: 4,423
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Sean J Photo wrote:
Changing style is the worst thing ever. I do it all the time, but to build up a base of work, you want to display the style that you will be shooting with potential future clients.

If you only shoot for fun, it's not an issue. If you want to make money, it's horrible. I mean, as I have progressed, I change style every year. I try to stay consistent but that's like asking the sun not to set.

Why would I say it's bad for making money? Well, I make money selling artistic prints. But the way to sell prints is to build a fan base who want to buy your photos. It's hard to build a base if you do something different every week. Or if you're working with clients like I also sometime do, you want to show them what they will get from you when they work with you. If your old work is irrelevant, then your clients might feel like you deceived them with the final product.

That's just my two cents. Change is good, but hurts my wallet.

I would agree that frequent, drastic, and abrupt changes in style would not be conducive to promoting commercial work, but everyone's style should evolve over time as you grow and change throughout your life experiences.

This is why it makes sense that your portfolio change over time to reflect your current style.  If a client wishes me to shoot similarly to work I did 10 years ago then they should specify that from the beginning at which point I could determine whether or not I was willing and capable of doing so.

It is difficult to see the world in the same way you saw it in the past - it has changed and so have you.  Just like a musician, your style can evolve with the times and still produce a body of work which is clearly recognizable as being you/yours.  Style need not be narrow, nor static.

Nov 15 12 01:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ally Moy
Posts: 404
Morris Plains, New Jersey, US


To a degree you sound like you're suppressing your artistic vision which I don't like to hear. You should be able to do what you want without worrying about judgement. It'll be there for sure, but if what you create makes you happy you're far better off just doing it. If you can't do it for a job, your personal work is always open for whatever craziness you want to do.

The other aspect of change is that anything that can be seen as a trend does change. You change with it. The world's view changes too. Few things stay classic. Look at beauty ads from the 80's. What were they thinking? Do you think Nike will still be doing that rim light look in 10 years? Maybe not. Will this retro vintage craze stay around for long? Who knows. People love vintage looks right now...these are your clients and companies with influence. I think the difference is many of us adapt organically. We catch on to a trend as well. The change comes as an exciting new area to delve into. Maybe you are more sensitive to this or not finding the right trend to join. This is all part of personal growth and the growth of social consciousness.
Nov 15 12 03:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
intense_puppy
Posts: 864
Brighton, England, United Kingdom


I'm still attempting to find my style which I fear is something that's going to be ongoing forever.
But generally, what I have the desire to shoot is very sort of situational (if that's the right word). What I mean is - the concepts and ideas and how I approach them seem to be a function of how I feel at any given time.

But then my level of happiness/depression and world view changes daily (which can be draining to say the least).

As for models and clients and the public's tastes changing, I'm not convinced that's true. How I think people see the world again is a function of how I'm seeing it. So yes, I do agree it can seem like the outside world is moving along, but when you get those moments of clarity you realise that fundamentally, things haven't really changed all all.

It can be a real struggle not to over-think your art. So I empathise if that's where you feel you are.

I dunno. I'm rambling a bit here, but I hope this little window into my world helps big_smile
Nov 15 12 03:54 pm  Link  Quote 
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