I was looking over PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2011, and was struck by a quote from the Editor:
“Personal style is just that: personal. Photographers who have it don’t try to mimic the work that may be currently popular with photo editors, curators or advertising clients. Style is something that evolves over time as a photographer takes in and reacts to myriad ideas and influences on the way to creating something singular.” -Conor Risch
I think this is true not just for photographers, but really just in life. Whether we’re talking about developing personal style in how we dress or in an artistic endeavor, it is the cumulative knowledge and ideas that we have learned over many years and that we will continue to learn in the future that help us grow and evolve. Even in the last two years as I’ve worked on my own photography I can recognize growth and change and improvement in my work and I don’t think that will ever stop. The important thing is to keep trying, to experiment and learn, but also remember the things that you have learned already, the ideas that you’ve been interested and the things that have inspired you and what is personal to you because as you continue to put your work out there, and to put yourself out there, eventually I think you’ll find that if you believe your work…your story…is interesting, others will find it compelling as well. The point is your style is yours, it’s personal and that will be what makes anything you do interesting.