Sometimes I wake up quite early. And because I don’t want to wake my husband, nor Largo, I just lie still and that’s an excellent occasion for my brain to get active. Wondering, pondering…. About what to do that day, about things that happened recently or long time ago, exact words that have been spoken and what I will answer next time when, if…. But also about photography, my photography, and where it’s going.
And all too often the question of ‘style’ hops on stage. What is style? What determines one’s signature? I would like to have a style of my own, a recognizable signature, an invisible stamp that tells the viewer: that’s Marl1’s!
But I don’t think I have that. I might have had it, back in the days when I was a macro photographer, flowers mainly. Back then I put the spotlight on one particular part of the flower, a flaw, a characteristic, creating a sense of motion, or intimacy.
Then I stopped photographing flower fragments. Tried still photography. Experimented with textures I bought (Kim Klassen, French Kisses, Florabella) and even painted them myself.
My creative space is packed with paint, backgrounds, surfaces, props and stuff, trays, cups, cuttlery, cloths, linnen…. But my drive to set up the stills and sit for hours afterwards in front of my computer to find the most fitting texture faded and finally vanished.
And now my 4 dslr’s, a heap of lenses, lighting material, umbrellas etc sit unemployed in my room. The creative space being cluttered with shirts that need ironing, clothes that need fixing.
The only camera you’ll find in my hands nowadays is my iPhone.
Am I lazy?
I have projects in my head. Start them sometimes – with my phone – and then stop again, thinking “isn’t it a pitty to not take this with a ‘real’ camera”.
Come to think of it, my iPhone is a blessing and a curse, assembled in one tiny, flat, pocket size device.
As a result I don’t post anymore on Fotoblur, 1 Exposure, Flickr, Belgian Digital. There’s just Instagram, the typical phone photography site.
And when I browse my feed I see a incoherent bunch of photographs. My dog, a still life, a miksang shot, something funny, a flower, something textured…. There’s neither consistence in subject , nor in color-setting or mood.
Then I think: but all those photographers with a certain signature, often always do the same, just variations to a theme. One time the vase is on the left, then it’s on the right. And it almost always is shot from above.
I’ve seen photographers shooting nothing but red lampposts against a steel blue sky. Or only dreamy shots with sugar-candy-pinkish filters used etc. I like all of this. Except for the red lampposts maybe :-)
So what is this thing with a personal style?
Do I need/want to go back to the big photosites like Fotoblur, 1X … And pick up my DSLR again for those?
Do I want to renounce on my principle and mix my actual Instagram feed – being almost exclusively iPhone images now – with DSLR ones in the future?
If I’m not lazy, maybe then I’m puzzled, or undecisive…..
Anyhow, It’s a question that occupies me often….