Photographers develop a style. The style begins with subject matter and composition, is further defined in post-processing tendencies of the images into final photographs. As the style develops over time, it becomes a potential positive bias that can be an asset in creating that personal “brand”. While a brand may not be important for a photographer starting out, it should be. It is one thing to have whatever camera you have on hand and start creating good photographic art.
The reason this is the topic of this post is because I have a style, whether it is landscape, architectural, or industrial photographs. Some other photogs can recognize my style or even have a good idea how I may shoot a specific location or subject. The style is potentially currency in my photographic success and success is not necessarily financial.
Once we start investing time and money (for new gear, for gas to get to photo spots, for insurance and liability coverage when working with clients), that brand and your style is what may make you successful your photographic journey. Success can be defined however you want it to be – peer recognition, juried or gallery, acceptance, or art sales.
The pursuit of photography is about the love of the activity, being in the moment of a location, and of exploration of place and self. Not many of us can just invest ourselves into this relentlessly unless you are comfortably retired, are backed financially, or already have a large following already. The rest of us are paying our dues towards something we love to do and if given the opportunity, would take advantage of the photographic success if it crossed our paths. If you have a defined brand and style that fills a niche or is better than what is out there, your opportunities of success are heightened.
I go through my social media accounts to view the photographs across my feed. There is a good chance I can identify the photographer just looking at the photograph. I can also understand how they are heavily followed and have success in their field. They have a recognizable brand.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO640, 35mm (prime lens), f/3.5, 1/20 sec
Sutter Creek (CA), Metal Conversion Sign, Wrenches and Tools. Knight Foundry, Sutter Creek, CA. March 04, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.