While re-creating my website I had the opportunity to make some interesting observations about my own photographs and I was quite stunned at the unconscious effort I clearly make to satisfy my idea of good visual stimulus. I am not talking about my ‘style’ here. Style is a result of conscious decision making in taking and processing images but what I saw is something quite different and I found it very disturbing that I was so unaware of it. I flatter myself for having a good understanding of visual impact and excellent emotional intelligence yet I didn’t spot this at all.
That prompted me to go and look at other photographers work to see if I could find similar patterns. Some of my colleagues have such distinct styles that I feel confident that I would be able to pick them out from a collection of many other photographs but do they also have that subconscious samey traits that I have just discovered in my own photographs. The answer is that some do and some don’t.
Take one of my colleagues. We call him The Executioner because he always lines his models up against a wall and shoots them. On closer inspection his models always have a bent left arm (just like my models are always looking in a particular direction) and his models predominantly look over their left shoulder. I wonder if he is aware of this.
Another friend and colleague who I tend to think of as the more Arty Photographer always says to models and anyone else that he ‘DOESN’T DO’ potatoshopping (as he calls it) but then spends hours and hours and hours doing lovely looking Instagram edits… but more to the point; his models are always leaning . Against walls trees or even thin air, but lean they do.
So my models look from left to right. So much so that I had to flip some of the photographs in Photoshop now that I’ve noticed. Hopefully in future you’ll be seeing images of models presenting their best side and not the side that I direct them into to satisfy my subconscious creature of habit.