Style

Both Shelly and Brick Sailboat have previous written about their personal photographic style, so I’m going to throw my opinions into the mix before I run off to Edinburgh for a week.

I’ve always had a problem with picking out a specific style for my photography, as if the act of admitting to a personal style limits my photographic options. If I said my style was whimsical LEGO Stormtroopers then was I not allowed to take landscape shots, or use anything other than LEGO for my photographs? Does having a recognisable style mean that all my photographs are the same and that I should try other things?

The nice thing about writing this blog post on the subject is that it’s forced me to think about it. I’ve looked through a lot of my recent photographs and tried to identify the common elements in the ones I’m most fond of. From that I think my style is a something like “simple, minimalist, interestingly lit environmental portraits.” They may not be that simple to take, but the feeling you get from the final shot should be simplicty.

Brick Sailboat pointed to an element of his style that I hadn’t even considered before: “Stay Candid”. My best photographs are those where I’m just an observer, the subject appears as though they’re unaware of the camera. .

This photo is a good example of the elements that make up my style.
This photo is a good example of the elements that make up my style.

If I find myself taking a different route in the future then my style will change, but currently, that’s what I think a “balakov” shot consists of. Although, I’m not even sure if it’s up to me to decide, I’m picking elements from my favourite photographs, others may like different ones and pick other features.

Now that I’ve defined it, I don’t feel the need to strictly adhere to my style. I like experimenting, seeing if I can find other elements that make my style more interesting and unique, but it’s certainly been an interesting thing to think about.

-Mike

 

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thereeljames
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I’ve been following your photography for a long time now, and think you nailed your style description perfectly! That description immediately brought to mind some of my favorite shots of yours, and I’m glad you noted the simplistic feeling that stems from each pic.

I’ve always been impressed and surprised by your behind-the-scenes shots, as they’re always more complex than the final product would suggest.