My own Signature Style has evolved over many years and I regularly get comments that it is calming and instantly identifiable. I did’t set out to do this with a grand plan, I simply followed my heart. On one of my courses I chat about Signature Style and guide students through a process of how to discover and grow theirs…
LET THE BEAUTY OF WHAT YOU LOVE, BE WHAT YOU DO. Rumi
I truly feel that creating your own spacial palette, your own language of style to express yourself will be one of the most fulfilling aspects of your photography – knowing that it is absolutely unique and that it has come from your heart.
Amongst other things, I can recommend a real moodboard that is hung on a wall or kept of a surface where is it seen regularly – say above your computer monitor or on the back of the door that houses your props, or in your studio if you are lucky enough to have one. And if your own style isn’t something that is hung or leant against a wall, then you do it your way – as long as you can see it regularly and readily, that is fine. You shouldn’t be having to make a trip especially to see it – it should be visible.
How do I make a moodboard and what do I put on it, I hear you ask. The answers to these questions are straight forwards. Collect things that you like, that resonate with you. Collect things slowly and over time. It really is as simple as that. It may be a postcard of a painting, a colour strip for household paint, it could be the type or logo on a sugar wrapper or paper bag. Anything. Everything. You may go to a Museum to look at your favourite painting and pick up a leaflet with it on. You may go to a new exhibition at an Art Gallery whilst you are on a city break. You may pick up a dried leaf because you like the texture. A piece of fabric may resonate with you. A necklace or a bag of buttons left to you by an Aunt that generates a specific memory or feeling. A headline from a Sunday supplement…. a particular rose from your garden because you like the way it dries and fades. It’s texture.
Pin these to your board and live with them. Later you may want to put them into blocks for whatever reason – colour that work together, feelings from a painting translated into some words from an exhibition leaflet. Seasons. A genre – say portraits of women.
Live with your board longer term. You will add things and take things away.
Through this organic way of keeping it live and flowing, you are firstly defining your style broadly and then you are refining. Again, and again.