Learning My Style

Matthew Jordan Smith Workshop

On Saturday I went to ProCam in Michigan to listen and learn from Matthew Jordan Smith workshop. Who is Matthew? Matthew is a very successful Portrait photographer now out of Japan. He has taken pictures of Queen Latifah, Oprah, Quincy Jones, and Aretha Franklin to list a few.

What did we learn that with everyone being a photographer what is going to make you stand out versus the normal? It comes down to a few things. What is your style? Can you repeat the technique? When he asks your style, he means your style. What is in your heart. Not what other people like. Photographers will be rejected all of the time. However, with that said, you will get business that will separate you from all of the average photographers.

Our Model Kelsey Rose

Our Model Kelsey Rose

How do you get to your style? As Mathew said, you need to find it by testing and testing some more. By testing, you will know what you like and how to repeat it. Most important is constancy. You need to recognize light and really understand light that ⅓ of a stop makes a huge change. Moving your light one inch makes a huge change.

Our exercise what to start the testing period and find out what we like. Not what others. We took a picture of the above model. First, we learn how to set up one light. This was one light with a beauty dish. We learn to see the angle from a photographer position and the client's vision. Next, we learn how important the light meter is and get to what the light meter is reading for being normal. Take a picture. Next was to take another picture only this time we change the output of light to ⅓ more light. After all, this was completed; our assignment was to take these to pictures and find what you like.

Don’t think this is important? For me, it will change me. What I thought I like is not what I love. I know what I will be practicing this week.

There are a lot of photographers out there. You need to stand out to be successful. To be successful is not getting approvals from other photographers but from your clients. Most important is a style that is yours and you are delighted with it. After all, It’s your style.

Mathew was great, and I learned so much not only photography but about myself.