Think about your favourite photographers, designers, illustrators and animators, and chances are that you are drawn to their work because of the distinctiveness of their style. While your student days are generally viewed as the time to experiment with different mediums and aesthetics, when it comes to the world of work having an original style forms a vital part of getting commissioned and building up a client base.
That’s not to say that finding your own style comes without a lot of time and effort, as portrait photographer Alex de Mora and illustrator Shyama Golden explain here. We speak to them about the importance of taking your time, seeking out inspiration in unexpected places and why finding your style is something that’s never entirely finished.
USING WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW
While Alex de Mora is now well known for portrait series such as his recent one documenting Mongolia’s hip-hop scene or editorial commissions shooting the likes of Slowthai, the photographer spent most of his teens dreaming of being a musician himself. After moving to London in his mid-20s and realising that his original career plan might not work out as planned, he decided to combine his love of music with his degree in media, photography and film.
“I got hooked wanting to document everything I saw, and my style naturally developed into portraiture,” he tells CR. “I’d also grown up religiously buying magazines, and was drawn in by the visual elements of different subcultures as much as the music, so maybe the photography side of things was subconsciously there all along. Essentially, I took my obsession with music and translated it into taking pictures, and I think my taste in music probably defined my style of photography.”