Imitative Photography

I found a very interesting Youtube channel the other day: Imitative Photography. Essentially, the content creator finds a photographer of note, and then tries to reverse engineer their work. The  one I watched was about Trent Parke, and Australian photographer. I’d recommend checking it out.

To me, one of the most interesting aspects was the mere fact that the creator put so much energy, not into creating a work based on their own style, but imitating another photographer’s. I’m not really criticizing this, the creator did seem to be pretty technically proficient, and I can only imagine that their own stuff has merit. It’s just that so much of photography is expressing your own style.

Even in the world of commercial photography, personal style plays a major role in creating work for customers. Sometimes when doing branding images for clients, they know what your style is, and want to have you create it with their products, services, food, location, or whatever. The same goes for headshots. 

Sometimes however, the customer isn’t exactly sure what they want you to create for them. In that case, it may be even more important, to have a way you photograph, or treat a subject, so that you can easily create that statement, even when the customer doesn’t have a clear idea of what they want. 

Anyway, just some musings. Check out the video and see what you think.

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