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Finding your Voice - Protips | Rick Battle Photography

Finding your Voice

You won't find your voice until you start to use it.

As a photographer, you need to find your voice. When you first start out and are still trying to master the fundamentals, you're not sure what style of photography you want to pursue. Maybe you like street photography, but you excel at studio work. Or you really want to get into a studio, but you're only happy with your work when the subject is abstract architecture. It takes a long time to figure out what you're good at shooting, especially while still learning the craft ... and even longer to figure out what kind of style you want to create when post processing.

When I was in the "Advanced Technique" phase of my photography, from set to set, my voice would vary wildly. I'd agonize for hours over a single image, not sure what to do with it. I knew there was a keeper hiding in there somewhere; I just had to suss it out. I'd finally declare victory on the first image and move on to the next few, taking what I didn't like about the previous one and fixing it in the next one. Then, usually about half way through I'd figure out exactly how I wanted the images to feel and how I should have been processing them from the beginning.

It could take me a week to really dig into a set and only a few hours to finish it. I'd spend the week meandering aimlessly, throwing the proverbial spagehtti against the equally proverbial wall to see what stuck. Once I found it, I would blow through the rest and it'd be a sprint to publish. But, I never made any real progress until I found whatever it was I was looking for in each set. Long story short, you won't find your voice until you start to use it, so go use it!

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