As a photographer it took me a long time to understand what type of photographer I was. My grandmother had given me her SLR camera when I was a teenager and I loved taking photos with it, but as a broke teenager and young adult I was put off by the cost of it. When digital photography arrived and I got my first digital camera, and pretty quickly afterwards a DSLR I feel in love with the medium and started my journey in photography. In the beginning I didn’t excel at what I did, I struggled through different types of photography, trying out all sorts of things but not coming back with the results I wanted.
Several years later I decided to take an online course in photography and in the process I discovered my passion in a new way. I realised how I had completely overlooked whole areas of photography because of the ones that were at the forefront. I started to relook at how I did photography and incorporate it into who I am and how I live my life. Below are some of the things that stood out to me. I encourage you to ask yourself what are you passionate about and what can you bring to photography that is uniquely yours?
Type: The first area that became apparent to me was that I loved still life photography. I thrived in an environment where I could create the image I wanted rather than things like street photography, weddings and photo journalism.
Types of photography could include: action, advertising, black & white, editorial, fashion, fine art, journalism, portraiture, scientific, still life, stock, studio, travel, wedding
Subject: On realising the type of photography I liked I then narrowed that down the subject matter. All my life I have loved baking so found myself naturally drawn to the idea of creating then photographing my own food.
Subject matter could include: architecture, astrophotography, automotive, culture, food, landscapes, nature, people, products, real estate, sports, wildlife
Style: Finally I went through a process of discovering a style in my photography. This is a bit like your signature and is what sets your work apart from others.
Styles could include: authentic, artistic, classic, dramatic, glamorous, light, moody, natural
A final note – This process helped me realise what I love about photography but I am in no way limited to this one type, subject or style of photography. It is exciting and challenging for me to get out and try something different and continue learning and developing my skills. Lately I have actually spent more time getting out and doing landscape photography than I have spent on food photography. I am learning and loving capturing some of the amazing places I am surrounded by here in New Zealand.