creative direction

STYLING OUT - HOW TO SURVIVE AND GROW AS A PHOTOGRAPHER

Now this is a blog about the future of photography or what i call 'Styling Out'

I'm all about stylised photography, stylised colour grades in films, photography and beautiful, decisive lighting to wrap it all up into beautiful final pieces. Stylised is defined as 'depicting something in a mannered and non-realistic style.' Styling your light in interesting, unnatural ways. 

This is where 'Styling Out' comes in.

Meet Mr Joe down the street. He's 24, he's been shooting on a Canon 5D Mk III. You also have a Canon 5D Mk III. You guys are killing it. Oh wait.. you're shooting on the same camera, same lenses.. how the hell is a potential client going to chose between you? Style. It all comes down to your style which, in modern days, is a combination of arguably eight things: Your predetermined plan, your eye, your location, your camera technique, your lighting technique, your make up, your styling, and your post production. Depending on a number of things, some of those will fall away but thank god.. eight things you can do to scupper your competition, eight things you can do to define your photography over the next Mr Joe. 

Here are two photos. Both by me but with different approaches - Both have their place and neither are wrong or 'bad'. This is the most basic way i could show  how we can visually execute the same visual into two different end results. This is what will make photography survive as an art-form. 

Interestingly, a lot of my work is all down to my post-production colour grades and retouch work. This all stemmed from starting as a photographer shooting on a shitty Nikon D70 in the low light, fast moving music pits of London as a 17 year old and fighting my equipment all the way from the shot to the edit. You just couldn't get anything editorial out of those early digital cameras in those situations. It was a total baptism of fire. As a result, i got incredibly good and efficient at retouching and editing my images. My post production was absolutely where my style existed and the initial camera part of photography became a 'get it down on paper' so we can get into the creative edit. That's still my speciality but my in camera work and art direction is as key now which brings up the production value and quality of the overall image.

If you're a photographer, amateur or professional, ask yourself where your photography style exists - break it down into those eight categories and outline your strength -  If you're an in camera creative or a post creative, a style creative or mua creative, a location creative or a lighting creative... or just an all rounder, work out what makes your photography your photography and pile everything you have into that and style it out. No one can touch you and the skies the limit.