Finding Your Photography Signature Style

Tabi basa & greetings everyone. Today I’d like to share about my recent photoshoot with Sean, Masha & Shannon, where we did a studio photoshoot under guidance of Sean. Matthew from Kuching also was present during the session. Both of us were the only learners in a session called Limitless session.

Since it was a private session, the learning details won’t be disclosed here but suffice for me to say that it was a great session for those who wants to deepen their understanding in studio lighting photography.

Or for me, finding my photography signature style. Some might call it, finding their own photography voice.

First and foremost, one needs to be familiar with whatever gears they are using. I am fully aware that a lot of photographers like to use more modern camera with blazing quick auto-focus, especially those that can almost immediately locks into the eye of talent / subject.

USING MANUAL LENS

However, I am still a fan of manual focus lens, which is what Leica M is well-known for. There is something so satisfying when I managed to nail its focus without any aid from digital technology. Furthermore, I would need to set its ISO & shutter speed manually, too. Those were the things that I look forward to every time I shoot. 

Although it is not the latest camera (it is more than half a decade already), but it is still good enough for me to tell a story.

Talents that day, Shannon, a Bidayuh Singai lady & Masha, a Kazakhstan lady, were also very accommodating and had a good time shooting with them. 

I also managed to catch-up with Romario, Lipina, Chipper, Roy & Sean’s lady, Esther. It is good to meet-up with them once in a while. Being Miri-based, I only go to Kuching when there is a business needs to be taken care of. Otherwise, I would prefer to spend more time at my hometown, Serian, where my family is. That’s more important for me. 

YOU’RE AVERAGE OF 5 PEOPLES

Apart from this, I also learned something: the key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best (Epictetus). 

It also can be translated to lose company of peoples who disheartens you, whose presence makes you feel like a shadow of your former self.

Otherwise, if you keep on spending time on petty issue, you will not have time to focus on things that you would need to concentrate your effort in.

FINDING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY SIGNATURE STYLE

This section is quite important for me, for it is where you differentiate yourself from others. You might be a beginner, just like how I always regard myself, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying your best.

Signature style here can be defined as a visual signature that sets an artist apart from one another. 

It maybe an unusual, unique lens that you use; filter; editing / post processing style, talent posing, or even going black & white, but in essence, that’s how the masses recognises your artwork.

How to find yours? That’s the real deal. You can only find it by doing lots of experiment, trying different gears, trying different shoot. For example, your first thousand images might look all over the place. That’s because you are still in the exploration phase. 

But give it a little time, there will be a certain style that you like most, and the one that others recognise of you. That, my friend, is considered a signature style. But if you ask the masters, they will have a different story, though in the end, it may or may not land on the same conclusion. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

In the end, just do the image that you like most, using gears that inspired you, with people that motivates you and at the place that gives you peace of mind. 

We live only once. So make every moment counts. If you are doing things that masses like, but at the expense of your own self-respect (or you don’t even like, but it pays well), what’s the point? Don’t you feel like you’re a slave? Forced to do things that you dislike. 

My advice, just do the things that you like. Things that make you happy. If others don’t like it, it doesn’t matter. But if they like it, then it’s a bonus.

As an analogy, the first Leica might look like a outdated camera and won’t cost much. But at the right place, it’s worth millions.

Think about it.

EPILOGUE

Thank you very much to Cikgu Sean for the guidances throughout the session. It has been a pleasure learning about studio photography from you.

That’s all I’ve got to write for now. Stay safe & take care.

Tukang Rantek,
Claudius

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