Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finding Photographic Style

Last month I attended a workshop at B&H in the city called Finding Your Photographic Style. It was a great course given by David Brommer - the guy who runs the event space (yes - he's also a professional photographer!) We learned about different things to notice in your work - genre, attitude, technique to name a few.


I started analyzing my photos and definitely saw a pattern. I get most enjoyment from photographing children, I like a tight crop, lean towards black & white or muted colors, and in most of the photos, (or at least the ones I like best) the kids are NOT smiling.

During the course he mentioned your style may have evolved from your upbringing. Hmmm, no smiles. What did that mean? I didn't have a bad childhood and I don't hate my own kids, so why do I like moody photos? I'm definitely going to have to put more thought into this one!

As part of the workshop, we were invited back this month for a photo critique. I was so excited and so nervous at the same time! We were asked to e-mail 5 photos that we thought fit our style. I waited until the last day to e-mail them. Not because I'm such a last minute person (at least not in this case) but because that meant I was going to be judged. This was my first photo critique from someone I wasn't friends with or related to. A REAL photographer!!! I knew I had to do it though. It's part of the whole "putting myself out there" this year.

So, I dug through my photos, chose 5, wrote an e-mail and attached the pics and clicked SEND. There! It was done!! I survived - the first part at least.

These are the photos I submitted..






Yesterday was the actual live critique. 17 brave souls showed up to have our work analyzed. David went through each of our photos - had them up on a projector for the whole room to see and voice their opinions on. Since I submitted mine so late, I think I was number 15 or so.

As he went through everyone's photos, it just gave me more time to be nervous.! I was actually sweating, and that room is FRRREEZING!!!

How are my photos going to look so large?

Did I choose the right ones?

Will they secretly think I had a messed up childhood?

Am I just a mom with a camera?

At least I was focussed and not thinking about what I was going to cook for dinner!

It was my turn and I'm happy to say it was great! I got some really good feedback and even if I didn't, I was making it so much worse than it could have ever been. I even got an e-mail today from David with links of photographers he thought I should look at for inspiration. Talk about going the extra mile!!

I feel so fortunate that I discovered the amazing events at B&H. I really feel in the past 2 years since Ive been going to the workshops, I've learned so much and have grown as a photographer. And my wallet didn't even have to suffer in the process. They're all FREE workshops!!

I'm already signed up for a few events for March. Can't wait!

If you live in NY, have you been to any of the B&H events? Which ones are your favorites?


Unknown said...

I keep forgetting that that give workshops. I need to learn how to take better pictures of things upclose, extremely tight and detailed shots. Thanks for posting the link, I might run into you there. Best.

Henry Posner said...

This is so gratifying and really greatly appreciated. We all love the workshop program and since I ran it before David Brommer kicked it up quite a few notches I can say with experience he's doing the most remarkably good job. BTW, there's a link to the EventSpace on our home page. We have an EventSpace page on Facebook at and you can follow too.
Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

citygirl - Stacey said...

MsSVelteNY - you should definitely go! You will learn so much.

Henry - thansk for the great resource!

Lisa @ Henderson Rubin Creative Design Studio said...

Critiques can be intimidating at first but to put your work out to be judged in a positive way by a professional will only help you grow as a photographer and help you to view your shots with a more analytical eye. The third photo from the top is the most intriguing one for me. All your photos are wonderful. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Lisa

citygirl - Stacey said...

Thanks Lisa! Yes, I think I just had to make it through my first critique and then future ones won't be as intimidating. Thanks for stopping by!

David Brommer said...

Sharing photography is great, but sharing what you know about photography is even better. It's an honor Stacey.. I may have to rename the next program, "Style and the City"!

citygirl - Stacey said...

Sounds good to me! I'd come. :)

Unknown said...

Wow. What a great experience. It sounds like he is a wonderful teacher. It is so good to put ourselves out there sometimes, right? Even if it means being scared! I love the picture of your daughter with her hair in her eyes. She is just lovely! I am guessing she is your daughter since she looks like you and you both have that amazing hair : )

Visiting today via your comment at Jasmine Star's blog. So nice to meet you. I live outside of Philly.

citygirl - Stacey said...

Yes! That is my little one. The curls always give it away. :)

BTW, don't you LOVE Jasmine Star?!?

seastararts said...

I would be SO nervous! but hopefully it helped boost you up, too. I regularly second guess my ability and talent as a photographer. it's tough out there with some many holding a camera these days!

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