A Question of Style

How does one define one’s own style? How do you put words to something that may only be visually descriptive? Now that I have learned the tools to create a website I am looking toward the elements of design. Last night I began reading a book called The Zen of CCS Design by Dave Shea and Molly Holzschlag in which they talk about how to capture the essence of mood, tone and communication thru design and style. It’s really got me searching to come up with a style for my overall web design that matches my personality and captures the essence of my style of work. As those of you who have followed this blog may have noticed my style though it is distinctive and recognizable is so diverse in approach and subject. Now that I am reinventing myself I have spent the past couple of weeks looking though my portfolios for images I want to showcase. I keep running across images that make me stop and think, wow did I create that? Was that me? I began to make a list of adjectives that I sums up my style: melancholy, distant, classic, mysterious, pensive, dark, sensual, intimate and honest. So how does this translate into a presentable concept? It is so hard to look at myself for who I am and not for what I want to be? How do others see me? I am a fairly reclusive, reserved person who doesn’t socialize much with others. Often times my subjects are strangers I only meet briefly for the creation of the image but it doesn’t extend beyond the stage. So what is it that people see in me when they meet me that allow me to take them to such remarkable places? I met with a new client this morning that I will begin to work on a series of images revealing herself. We talked for about forty-five minutes and I totally connected to her. As I talked the most amazing impressions began to explode in my head as to whom she was, how the light would fall on her face and body, the beauty of her strengths and the vulnerability of insecurities. Her remarkable nature just began to avail itself? I feel I am very forward and open from that initial moment of meeting that people just reveal themselves. Do people allow me into their personal lives because I am a photographer or because of my personality and trust? Is it the nature of people to secretly want to reveal a part of themselves that is hidden; to put your trust into the hand of a complete stranger? My one distinctive style is my use of beautiful light, natural, strobe, or incandescent. The source seems irrelevant but the process of revelation seems key. So why do I have such a hard time with my own revelation? Is it for me to define? Is it defined by the viewer? I have hard time looking at my images subjectively because of my emotional connection to them. Each image becomes a marker in the process of my evolution and journey. I need to bring to the surface what’s in my head. I guess I need to approach this website as I would a subject and let the process reveal itself and follow its own evolution.