‘What type of photography do you do?’ is a question I am quite often asked and one for which there is no straightforward response. I am always delighted when people do ask as it opens up a dialogue about photography and creativity, and there is a lot that can be talked about. Often I don’t know why I have felt driven to take a photograph but some time afterwards I may connect the experience or events of that time with that shot; it all seems to make sense in hindsight.
When I first began studying photography full time, I wondered if over the course of three years I would settle upon a ‘style’, something that would identify me as a photographer. Sometimes as students we would be advised that this was what we should aim to do. I wasn’t sure where my rather random project work would fit in the neat world of photography that I was looking at but, that, to me, was good – good because I like to freely create things as I have done since being young; going with an idea that springs into my head; and finding much enjoyment in this.
For commercially driven photography and art of any genre, having a recognisable style must be a strength as consistency is important in a business sense – and I admire it – but for an individual practicing photography as an expressive process then I think it is natural for the ‘style’ to change as the individual changes.
For me, what happens happens.
Looking back on old work I now see connections; projects that may appear very different on the surface but that I know are all part of the same story, one that is in the process of being told.